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Hot Wings

Grumpy Cynic
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Actually that's the one item that concerns me, I can see a number of people getting motion sickness/vomiting from that.
For a true autonomous vehicle, either auto or aircraft, you no longer need to see outside. Just gimbal the passenger pod and give them a view screen and a camera that they can direct as desired. Even with a 'pilot' controlled unit a gimbaled pod would be pretty easy with a FBW system.

I have a nasty feeling that if it does become a 103, it will do to 103s what drones have done to RC.
Almost guaranteed. IF the production model actually meets part 103, and it's geo fenced to make the FAA happy, they could be as common as personal water craft and ground bound quads. Who knows? - with all of those new 'pilots' maybe some will want to take on the challenge of old school 3 axis ultralights.
 

davidb

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Actually that's the one item that concerns me, I can see a number of people getting motion sickness/vomiting from that.
If you don’t move your head, you won’t suffer motion sickness. Seriously, avoid turning or leaning your head while in a vehicle that is accelerating in any axis if you are susceptible to motion sickness.
 

Aviator168

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For a true autonomous vehicle, either auto or aircraft, you no longer need to see outside. Just gimbal the passenger pod and give them a view screen and a camera that they can direct as desired.
Yeah. Try selling that to the masses.
 

markaeric

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Any thoughts on what benefits, say, non-blown 4 foot wing extensions would provide in forwards flight? Any worthwhile gains in range?
 

cheapracer

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If you don’t move your head, you won’t suffer motion sickness. Seriously, avoid turning or leaning your head while in a vehicle that is accelerating in any axis if you are susceptible to motion sickness.
I believe ultimately this is aimed at the general public for transportation purposes?

If so, you will have some pax with nervous dispositions just getting into it, let alone getting moved around disorienting motions.

i do some crazy stuff myself in cars, bikes, etc but I am a nervous wimp when it comes to carnival rides and other vehicles I am not directly in control of..
 

Hot Wings

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Yeah. Try selling that to the masses.
That has actually been a fairly high 'want' when asked by potential users of future autonomous autos. Already seen a couple modeled in 'future car design competitions'. With their smart phone in their face future passengers apparently see no need to look outside. We function just fine in elevators provided one doesn't fear closed spaces.

Imagine a flying version of this, but with a blacked out sphere and just a view screen.
[video=youtube;0FIoFzJkEuk]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0FIoFzJkEuk[/video]
 
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Aesquire

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Motion sickness? You didn't notice it lands with your head down & looking backwards? Ok, up & back.

One of the lessons that SHOULD have been learned by a century of attempting vertical flight is that tail sitters are piloting nightmares on landing. Anything with wings & a tail that flies like a normal airplane is unstable going backwards. That's why the current generation of Falcon boosters have grid fins & computer artificial stability. Grid fins to make it stable going "backwards" & computer control because, well.... Honestly, drones. ( and hardware is cheaper than pilots )

Black Fly transitions to hover to land, and uses a computer to fight any tendency to flip over.... All the time. I would bet that the emergency landing program glides down to just a few tens of feet before flaring to a last gasp vertical speed brake mode. ( not enough power to hover ) Backing down from altitude, like the Lockheed Salmon, is a big power suck, as the rpms have to vary to keep from flipping. I'd bet nearly as much or more power is required to descend vertically as to climb.

Sounds counter intuitive, but it's true of hot air balloons too. They, too have to budget energy ( fuel ) to descend and land controlled. Unlike airplanes that can glide or helicopters that don't want to flip upside down when descending.

I could be wrong on that aspect, but it's easy enough to test with a multi copter that transmits battery charge to an indicator on the controller. Mine is too cheap. Anyone care to test it? Charge battery to, say, 30%, climb straight up for 5%, then descend to land & note remaining power. You need to account for non linear battery charge, but still, simple test to perform. Use values that better suit your systems, what you want to know is how much power is required to brake all the way down vs. climb.

If I'm right, that's a flight regime to avoid.... Which you can with wings.
 

cheapracer

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. Which you can with wings.
2nd time mentioned on this page.

It's not a plane, clearly it's mission is to be compact to sit down in all sorts of places, top of buildings, carparks, ponds, etc, or throw it on a trailer in minutes like a jetski to take it to your local "Blackfly Flying Park" etc.
 

Tiger Tim

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One of the lessons that SHOULD have been learned by a century of attempting vertical flight is that tail sitters are piloting nightmares on landing... If I'm right, that's a flight regime to avoid.... Which you can with wings.
“One of the lessons that SHOULD have been learned in all this time of fussing with automobiles is that running the supply tank of petroleum distillate dry is a nightmare of operation as the machine simply stops cold... If I’m right, this is a regime to avoid... Which you can do with a horse.”

History is fun because it’s circular.
 

mcrae0104

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For a true autonomous vehicle, either auto or aircraft, you no longer need to see outside. Just gimbal the passenger pod and give them a view screen and a camera that they can direct as desired. Even with a 'pilot' controlled unit a gimbaled pod would be pretty easy with a FBW system.
Am I the only one reminded of the passage in The Right Stuff discussing the lack of a window, pilot-operated hatch, and controls in the Mercury capsule?

I guess the marketing campaign will say, "So easy to fly, even a chimpanzee could do it!" Which means few pilots will want to.
 

Wanttaja

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Am I the only one reminded of the passage in The Right Stuff discussing the lack of a window, pilot-operated hatch, and controls in the Mercury capsule?

I guess the marketing campaign will say, "So easy to fly, even a chimpanzee could do it!" Which means few pilots will want to.
The vehicles aren't intended for pilots, they're for people that want private, on-demand air transportation that doesn't require the acquisition of archane skills.

You don't have to prove you can furl a t'gallantsail or rig a running bowline to sail a Bayliner.

Ron Wanttaja
 

Sunbird

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I am impressed with their achievement!

Now I know why in the Go-Fly competition http://goflyprize.com/ the words "vertical take off or near vertical take off" was used, maybe someone knew!

Phase 2 would be interesting!
 

Aerowerx

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... We function just fine in elevators provided one doesn't fear closed spaces....
Have you ever been in those elevators with all windows on one side?

I find them quite disconcerting, particularly if I am standing where I can see both inside and outside. I keep wanting to put in some opposite aileron to stop the rolling motion.
 

mcrae0104

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The vehicles aren't intended for pilots, they're for people that want private, on-demand air transportation that doesn't require the acquisition of archane skills.
This is precisely why I find these vehicles as uninteresting as driverless cars.
 

Hot Wings

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This is precisely why I find these vehicles as uninteresting as driverless cars.
And in some ways I hope everyone does as well. I can see myself buying one, at the right price, so I can use it to get to the 'port and fly the Aeronca. To me they are just a tool, kind of like a poor mans chauffeur driven car.

I do find it interesting from a pure 'create this' engineering problem perspective.
 

markaeric

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To be fair, this model is one that is "flown" rather than being an appliance where you merely punch in a destination. Yeah, maybe it doesn't take much skill, but I doubt even great pilots would have the skills and number of fingers and toes necessary to control a non-FBW version.

My biggest gripe would be the lousy endurance, which is in part due to their insistence on attempting to make it part 103 compliant. This thing is begging to be enlarged and given a series hybrid setup. A mere 20kw battery pack weighs ~250lbs just in batteries. For that, you can have an engine generator with weight to spare for some batteries and significantly enhanced endurance and turn around time.
 

cheapracer

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The vehicles aren't intended for pilots, they're for people that want private, on-demand air transportation that doesn't require the acquisition of archane skills.
Of course that's true for a greater percentage of the target'ed market, but it doesn't mean they can't be flown manually.


Anyway, not a new video, but it has the specifications for the Blackfly scrolling underneath.

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



To be fair, this model is one that is "flown" rather than being an appliance where you merely punch in a destination.
The He-Men find it offensive that it goes in the opposite direction to their ultimate real pilot torque twisting big radial taildragger that spews hot oil all over their goggles while landing in galeforce crosswinds, that's brag worthy back at the clubhouse - the diminishing clubhouses that they don't understand is part due to them.





My biggest gripe would be the lousy endurance, .
That's true, why I mentioned taking them on a trailer like a jetski to your local VTOL flying park. Be lucky if you get more than 20 to 25 minutes flying time in the current configuration and technology.

As a business, 15 minute flying envelope, 1 hour turn around time with parking bay needed for a charger for each, hmmm, tough numbers.

Maybe the jetski leisure type market is what they are chasing.
 
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markaeric

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That's true, why I mentioned taking them on a trailer like a jetski to your local VTOL flying park. Be lucky if you get more than 20 to 25 minutes flying time in the current configuration and technology.

As a business, 15 minute flying envelope, 1 hour turn around time with parking bay needed for a charger for each, hmmm, tough numbers.

Maybe the jetski leisure type market is what they are chasing.

This is something I've been pondering over as of late for my own imaginary project. That is, what is the acceptable endurance of a flying toy, not unlike a jet-ski, but with the possibility of being electric, lacking the ability to gas-and-go. I'd think at the very least half an hour, but probably more like double that. Electrics become un-competitive very quick in terms of total system weight compared to gas, but do have a lot of really appealing benefits that make the decision not so simple given that you're willing to stay within a narrow range.


As an interesting note, I estimate forwards flight of the blackfly requires roughly 20hp, probably at 60mph. Those blown wings are pretty effective.
 
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