"minimum" personal mobility device --ground and airmobile.

Discussion in 'Aircraft Design / Aerodynamics / New Technology' started by Aircar, Apr 9, 2013.

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  1. Apr 9, 2013 #1

    Aircar

    Aircar

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    As a design exercise to exclude the bloated contraptions that already EXCEED the permissible "footprint" for regular automobiles (car parking spaces and road width ) I would put the challenge of designing the smallest practical solo (single passenger) flying and road/footpath or pedestrian area capable 'vehicle'. the problem with any sort of vehicle is what to do with it after it has delivered the occupant to their destination and this fact puts a premium on the physical size of a vehicle that is intended to do the 'commute' function -where most people go to work or school etc on their own . Taking a 4000lb SUV to work is just stupid and unsustainable for any real fraction of the world's population --yet the Chines have transitioned from bicycles to SUVs in one foul step --we need a better way. I would point to Syd Mead's writings and renderings in this field as a starting point.

    My computer time is expiring --someone might be able to post Mead's artwork on the "Unipod" to give a conception perhaps (?) I think it self evident that any of the recent offerings for personal roadable vehicles are both too bulky,too expensive,need too much power by far and fail to deliver PERSONAL mobility --airports are definitely not personal attractors and all leave the user stranded to some degree -the ultimate freedom is a door to door or even better, 'desk to desk' device . (and the use of mechanical mobility WITHIN buildings has been pioneered by the disabled community -- look at it is giving a wheelchair wings, rather than getting a car to fly if you like -the segway arose from a device to allow the quadraplegic to walk and stand up (by Dean Kamen )--only afterwards was the wider application exploited'- but it is too limited by NOT being roadable and can't fly ("Codename Ginger" was written before it was revealed and speculation that "IT" might be a flying car topped the list ) _ I have an old flying friend who needs such a thing as this, he is quadraplegic and despite incredible efforts at self rehabilitation including getting himself flying again and using a hand trike plus driving faces huge problems in going from one to the other and being useful at each end of a trip --integrating the ground and air phases of a trip means more than just a bit more conveniance to many people .

    there you go Holden - a mission statement that will let you work out how to solve the hurdles it presents.

    single occupant, autonomous (no help in conversion) weather shielded, roadable (not highway - urban or sidestreet might suffice - not freeway speeds ) carry usual hand l,public transport accessible, etc etc -you decide. Market for millions of.
     
  2. Apr 9, 2013 #2

    litespeed

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    I can see your thinking on this, something along the lines of the mutitude of single place urban vechiles the Japanese designers are fond of and a way of flying.

    Either hydrid or pure electric and something that has a very small footprint and low weight.

    Maybe a quadcopter setup that is foldable against the sides or back could do the trick for short distances and maybe augmented with a folding wing for additional lift. The power pods would be electric and rotate for forward thrust - ala opsrey etc. The pilot/passenger would recline for flight by the whole capsule/pod rotating to reduce drag. The idea is the pod stands for pedestrian/ slow road use and reclines for flight.


    OR

    We could do a pod with propeller mounted on the pod that folds and as the pod rotates so does the prop.

    The use of electrics really opens up the possibly paths.

    If we see how far they have moved in UAV tech, quadcopters, stabilisation systems, and the engines/batteries, we see the tech is out there to be combined to meet the mission.



    Sounds a bit buckrogers but who knows the future?
     
  3. Apr 9, 2013 #3

    cheapracer

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    Do not speaketh of things you don't knoweth.
     
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  4. Apr 9, 2013 #4

    autoreply

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    Inspired by the Acabion.

    Take a sailplane cockpit. Add a single front wheel and two independent rear wheels (motorcycle style). Make them long and adjust the suspension with a screw-drive. For parking and slow speeds, tilt the back up 45 degrees. Easy to get into, you're high enough for good visibility (traffic jams) and wide enough (<1 meter) to drive in between cars.
    At higher speeds, let the back tilt down till you're just above the ground. No more problem with roll-overs.

    VTOL then. Tip-driven can be much simpler. Have one small model turbine blow into the hollow prop and have end pipes on the prop. Speeds are matched, light, simple etc. A 100 lbsf thrust turbine delivers the equivalent or roughly 100HP.
    With a full swashplate or servo's and some weight on the tips prerotation will solve the "zone of death". Use a simple tailpipe (from the jet) for yaw control.

    Add a tiny, cruise-optimized wing that can fold plus a minimal tail and a 20 hp B&S and you're close to my ideal solution :whistle:
     
  5. Apr 9, 2013 #5

    henryk

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    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GkGkYbqqGkM

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2QTOTZuz3F8

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?NR=1&v=vI-4ygOrgJ4&feature=endscreen

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?NR=1&v=qvxfo5oGaPA&feature=endscreen

    =very dusty...

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p9Hd89by0zA

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?NR=1&feature=fvwp&v=OM7HHB51WX8

    =little better!
     
  6. Apr 9, 2013 #6

    Rom

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    By combining road-able and flying in one package would be a compromise in both road-ability and fly-ability.

    Perhaps a vtol flying electric pod to get to ones destination and combine that with a small folding bicycle would prove more practical, or use public transport once at your destination.
     
  7. Apr 10, 2013 #7

    Aircar

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    Only got a few mins on computer --the comment from our Chinese friend _elaborate please . ( I have a friend with Chinese wife who works for VW in Shanghai and do watch the news etc --have the Chinese invented and deployed some small mass transportation device with flight ability that is hidden from the world ? (maybe the new "Harry Potter" cloak of invisibility is added??? -what do you mean? 1.3 billions SUVS will break the world oil budget and create smog like you will not believe. (all stop start on choked roads)

    Good comments Jarno,- except I would say that a LOT of wing area is needed rather than a small cruise wing (not the same as a small wing IN cruise ) -what we need is an 'android bird' --just as the bird folds big wings away the instant it lands and then proceeds to walk around and go through tiny holes into it's nest .

    The biomimickry thing is the best approach --leave aside the jet blast flying platforms even the Zimmerman style --it must be fail safe and user friendly.

    Take way the weight of a fuselage andf shrink the wings of a sailplane to keep a low wing loading -make it foldable and you are on the way (your compatriot, Jarno, Reinhold Platz was it, had his tandem sailwing which he rolled up and carried by bicycle over his shoulder in the 1920s -that is inspiration.

    John thorpe--" the BEST airplane for the job is the SMALLEST airplane for the job" - I have set the bar as LOW as is possible and would suggest that looking at what can still be removed and do the job is the way to go (following St Exupery's advice ) --we do not insist on covering our legs in the rain for example - an umbrella will do together with proper rainproof clothing --the motorcyclist covers only the head and eyes with a helmet and just waterproofs (you hope) the rest --what is a fuselage really for.....?

    I cannot get the sound on public access computers Henryk but got the idea from your first link -- ducted fan platform (Zimmerman) --try walking on to a train with that ...
     
  8. Apr 10, 2013 #8

    henryk

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    Images | PAL-V

    =in contrary=MAXIMUM ! \700 kg empty weight =tor two !!!???\
     
  9. Apr 11, 2013 #9

    Aircar

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    Henryk -still can't open all your links (or listen to them ) --the PALV is a big enough hunk of equipment to need a car parking space and normal road space (it cannot mount the kerb and just stand on the sidewalk let alone go inside a building,in the lift up to the roof "ATOL" pad etc etc --Denny REID (NZ) had his wearable wings project some time ago but I have lost contact with him --his technology was a wee bit 'steampunk' and only suitable for hang glider like and fair weather operation I would think . Dennuy has quite a background including having also worked in the German glider industry and deserves more support -his Aquaduckt flying/floating,skiing car was a very nice and in many ways elegant design --it was flown in some fashion and RC models etc but not heard of for a long while ---what is he up to now?

    Maybe it is appropriate to refer to the 'life imitates art' and vice versa thing - the "dragon flying sequences in Avatar are what most p[eople would find more closely matching their dreams of personal flight I would think (which is why they spent multi millions "bringing that dream to life " in a virtual way ) --anyway, the idea is to have a delighfully responsive and indeed birdlike device that is able to fold up after it lands and ambulate --even if via wheels like the Segway . The sort of minimized size is important --this is the airborne equivalent of the pedestrian rather than the car or motorcycle and, just like pedestrians in urban areas, will outnumber and be the most flexible level of motion. (and be a lot less sweaty and exposed etc than the open bicycle but closest to it next to actual walking -- I use my bike to go on the trains into Melbourne and 'ride' in amongst foot traffic at walking speed right into the lifts and on escalators within the shopping centres or elsewhere --thios is the sort of 'last fifty metres' (or less) of a journey that makes a vgreat deal of difference . Many cities ban cars from the actual central area in any case and the stranding even only a few kilometres from a destination -especially if raining,-you will often get saturated in the last step from car to doorway .

    Just trying to stimulate some socially responsible mad inventor type designing here....... (we need a new bumper sticker in homebuilt aviation,- NO MORE RVS! )

    The more unconventional something is,provided it actually works, the more unconventional is likely to be the outcome --and we desperately need some change from the downward spiral and too comfortable dotage of GA .

    BTW has anyone found the EU reports from the PPlane or Mycopter studies that cited the need for 389,000 new air vehicles ? Sounds interesting.
     
  10. Apr 11, 2013 #10

    Aircar

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    For the edification of diligent HBAers - Matthew kindly posted a link to the Syd Mead "Unipod" -sort of Segway concept 30 years before Segway - it is on the "cargo plane as ..flying car" thread 5 April .

    For those who don't know who Syd Mead is some more homework is in order --his visualization of possible futures is amazingly vivid and technically attainable -everything starts with a vision and he has influenced generations of car designers but not to the degree he should have --just like Buckminster Fuller he was always ahead of his time. His time is now . ("Mythbusters" judged a design contest to do Mead style renderings not so long ago --maybe Mythbusters could help get a minimum flying device contest publicized even -- certainly the 'rapid prototyping and BS filters they apply are valuable . Too much computing starts to look like numerology rather than design --cutting to the chase is essential to stop more misguided work .
     
  11. Apr 11, 2013 #11

    oriol

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    Aircar,


    Even if a personal air/ground vehicle is technically possible with the size of a Segway, We all agree that in most countries it is ilegal to take off from your bedroom window, like peter pan, or from the roof, the street...


    Even so it might be possible to deal with the legal issues.
    Let´s consider a potential customer of such a vehicle, for example any average person that lives in Sao Paulo, that might want to avoid everyday traffic jams or just doesn´t wish to drive in through a dangerous neighbourhood.
    This person is restricted by the law to take off/land from helico sites. Maybe a parafan is able to operate from such small places, even so the authorities would demand that the flying machine is certified and that the pilot is properly trained to operate in a controlled air space.
    Maybe the authorities would exagerate and require from the parafan pilot a PPL license, to perform flight plans etc...


    In theory to legally fly you just need to certificate the airplane (a parafan or any other design) and to train the pilots so that they are properly licensed.
    Now the biggest issue, I see is practical, maybe you fulfill with all the legal requirements but non flying citizens (99,9% of the population at least at the begining) might get paranoid (terrorist attack, unskilled dangerous pilots) about folks flying above their heads with unconventinal machines (not RV/Jet Ranger like) and the city council may decide to ban this sort of personal air vehicles: let´s face it, even a small silly incident might doom this sort of personal transport.



    So you need the money to invest in certifying the airplane etc, and overall, a lot of patience and creative ideas to advertise and give credit to your very innovative and unconventional product in order to mentally prepare average persons (your potential customers) for a flying reality.



    -)Just a side note with all the incredible cost that represents drilling below the city to increase the subway network. It might be economically viable to invest in airships operating like airbuses. Airships like balloons look quiet and safe, most average people look towards them with simpathy, they might help to introduce aviation as a transport option in urban areas and to make average people seriously consider air solutions as an option for their transport/leisure needs.

    -)Another side note the smallest single seater micro car that I know is the british Peel, it even fits inside a standard elevator.
    Peel P50 - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia



    Oriol


    Peel-Microcar-01.jpg yves-rossy-jet-man-0904-1a.jpg
     
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2013
  12. Apr 11, 2013 #12

    dtrip

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    Hello!

    Since we must land/take off on every street, this excludes all airplanes/autogyros
    because of their large surfaces. *throws them out the window*

    And leaves us only with compact "fan helicopters" or "rocket helicopters", but
    those are dusty and potentially dangerous (because of debris hitting bystanders in the face).
    *out the window those go, too*


    Therefore we are left without solutions :(

    The best I can think of about "door to door commuter delivery" is

    AUTOGYROS landing on roofs!

    Yep and it is tested. It has been done during the 20s I think, to deliver the mail on top of skyscrapers.

    EDIT: I know its not what you are looking for, but its the best solution I can come up with
    for "door to door commuter delivery".
     
  13. Apr 11, 2013 #13

    bmcj

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    Ross, you really want to stay away from the Unipod concept... otherwise you might have to change your name from Aircar to Airpod.
     
  14. Apr 12, 2013 #14

    kenkad

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    In reply to post #4 by Autoreply,
    The Acabion concepts that use training wheels are simply weird. How do you control in "any" driving situation as to when they should deploy?

    I totally agree that a personal transport vehicle (PTV) should be single wheel in front and two wheels in back, what is referred to as a delta trike. That part is easy. The harder part comes in just making it road worthy, especially the steering aspect and the stability. This is one of the most argumentative issues in the ebike world, tadpole or delta. So lets suppose that a delta trike design exists that meets road worthiness/stability requirements. Next, what kind of wing design? Would you be accepting of a joined wing configuration to reduce the wing span? Now you are asking for wing folding capability! Would removing the wings and stowing them on a small trailer be acceptable? Folding wings are not only a design challenge, but present serious structural issues.

    Suppose now we have a plane concept and need propulsion. To keep noise down, how about dual ducted fans with contra rotating fans in each unit and each unit counter rotating? How about one hour flight time with electric propulsion?

    So now we have a plane with propulsion. Next, we need controls that can handle road and flight characteristics. Would dual joysticks (left and right, interchangeable depending on whether you are left or right handed) with the joystick functions setup to automatically change over when you are on the road or in the air meet everyone's needs?

    Now, encapsulate all of this in a very aesthetic carbon fiber body and wings. All controls are electronic so push rods or pull cables are a thing of the past. Add a BRS when things really go bad. So what else do we need? Yes, I know 'lots of money and a fancy shop'.

    Maybe someone would like to show a picture and be our next pincushion? Aircar, would you like to start.

    I think the best approach is to build a 1/2 scale RC model and ask Redstone Arsenal in Huntsville, AL to let us use the UAV airfield and their restricted airspace for testing. After all, it is a UAV until you put a pilot in it! I would be happy to participate. I live within 15 miles of Huntsville.
    Kenkad
     
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2013
  15. Apr 12, 2013 #15

    cluttonfred

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    Perhaps a compromise is in order between VTOL freedom and the restriction of airport operations. If a very light vehicle along the lines of an enclosed, recumbent, electric-assisted bicycle were combine with a parasail, then such such aircraft could operate from small, designated launch/takeoff sites in the city little larger than a football field. Speed would not be greater than cars, but without traffic congestion and still with the ability to drive home in bad weather. Basically, combine these two clips in one vehicle and add a parafoil!

    [video=youtube_share;tXnqFAj1uCI]http://youtu.be/tXnqFAj1uCI?t=5s[/video]

    [video=youtube_share;b9QedZlRwvc]http://youtu.be/b9QedZlRwvc[/video]
     
  16. Apr 12, 2013 #16

    harrisonaero

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    No helmet and two Cuisinarts behind your head. What could go wrong.
     
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  17. Apr 12, 2013 #17
  18. Apr 13, 2013 #18

    henryk

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  19. Apr 18, 2013 #19

    kenkad

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    Hello,
    It has been a week since the last post to this thread. Since no one has volunteered with a single passenger road vehicle concept for a possible conversion to a personal mobility device, I will illustrate our design. The obvious first step is a road worthy vehicle as I stated in my last post. Two prototypes are being built and a third frame will be structurally tested. I hope this encourages others (Oriol and Aircar?) to show their road version concept vehicles.
    Kenkad

    RedbudSoneetPhilpoComp2012S.jpg
     
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  20. Apr 18, 2013 #20

    henryk

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    =thricycle with short wheel base have little stability at circling and breaking=

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QQh56geU0X8
     

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