Paul Moller’s 50-year dream to build a flying car won’t die!

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Wanttaja

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Yes, but I could see GA being outlawed in favor of these things. Our airplanes could present a real risk to them in the air.
Again, I agree this could happen.

On the other hand, Manned Autonomous Flying Systems (MAFS) could be the SAVIORS of GA. (there, I created an acronym :)

I live about 30 miles south of Seattle, in one of the many bedroom communities in the Seattle/Tacoma area. If, say, 2,000 people out here decide they're going to commute to Seattle with their MAFS...where are they going to land?

Sure, someone could convert a parking lot into a MAFS-port. But how long will the city tolerate having 2,000 aerial vehicles SCREAMING in to land, in the morning, and screaming out in the evening? People jostling...in the air...for better parking spots? MAFS descending willy-nilly under emergency parachutes?

Note that NYC is trying to get helicopters banned...do you think they'll tolerate hundreds of similar vehicles trying to fit into narrow streets between buildings to land in these little spots?

They need somewhere to put these things; somewhere that's outside the city property, somewhere that is already inured to the noise of aircraft.

An airport, in other words.

Seattle has King County International (Better known as Boeing Field) just south of downtown. They're even putting a light rail station there that'll connect to downtown. The people with MAFS are well-off folks who want a convenient place to park their vehicle and connect to downtown. Set up a corral for them with their own approach paths, and you're set.

After all, *most* aircraft going into Boeing Field have to have ADS-B out. So the system that routes the MAFS in just takes fixed wing traffic into consideration. King County contains Boeing's flight test center. No way they're going to shut down fixed-wing traffic.

Works in reverse, too. Do you think the tony neighborhoods outlying Seattle are going to want MAFS screaming out of their hangars at 6 AM, or falling from the skies at dusk. Nope...they'll need space at the local airports, too. Not to mention somewhere to get mechanical issues taken care of The political pressure to close airports should decrease, with the main effort needing to keep open some parts of the field for the fixed-wing crowd.

They *could* take over our existing airports, no question. But the market will build slowly. The traditional GA crowd will be in control for quite a while, and will need to ensure their needs are maintained.

Ron Wanttaja
 

Wanttaja

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One additional point I'll make is that while these vehicle may eventually end up being feasible, they ain't *ever* going to be cheap. Too much high-tech stuff, too much critical software, too small a market. The original Teslas sold for ~$60,000...I would expect something like this two be at least 2 times the cost, probably 3x. We're getting into Maserati price ranges.

And are you going to commute in your Maserati and leave it untended in a central-city parking lot?

These will end up being yet another toy for the rich, and other than an occasional dramatic entrance, they're probably not going to use them that much.

Ron Wanttaja
 

Dan Thomas

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Again, I agree this could happen.

On the other hand, Manned Autonomous Flying Systems (MAFS) could be the SAVIORS of GA. (there, I created an acronym :)

I live about 30 miles south of Seattle, in one of the many bedroom communities in the Seattle/Tacoma area. If, say, 2,000 people out here decide they're going to commute to Seattle with their MAFS...where are they going to land?

Sure, someone could convert a parking lot into a MAFS-port. But how long will the city tolerate having 2,000 aerial vehicles SCREAMING in to land, in the morning, and screaming out in the evening? People jostling...in the air...for better parking spots? MAFS descending willy-nilly under emergency parachutes?

Note that NYC is trying to get helicopters banned...do you think they'll tolerate hundreds of similar vehicles trying to fit into narrow streets between buildings to land in these little spots?

They need somewhere to put these things; somewhere that's outside the city property, somewhere that is already inured to the noise of aircraft.

An airport, in other words.

Seattle has King County International (Better known as Boeing Field) just south of downtown. They're even putting a light rail station there that'll connect to downtown. The people with MAFS are well-off folks who want a convenient place to park their vehicle and connect to downtown. Set up a corral for them with their own approach paths, and you're set.

After all, *most* aircraft going into Boeing Field have to have ADS-B out. So the system that routes the MAFS in just takes fixed wing traffic into consideration. King County contains Boeing's flight test center. No way they're going to shut down fixed-wing traffic.

Works in reverse, too. Do you think the tony neighborhoods outlying Seattle are going to want MAFS screaming out of their hangars at 6 AM, or falling from the skies at dusk. Nope...they'll need space at the local airports, too. Not to mention somewhere to get mechanical issues taken care of The political pressure to close airports should decrease, with the main effort needing to keep open some parts of the field for the fixed-wing crowd.

They *could* take over our existing airports, no question. But the market will build slowly. The traditional GA crowd will be in control for quite a while, and will need to ensure their needs are maintained.

Ron Wanttaja
More people are working from home since Covid, and with the internet and so on I could see the traditional downtown office disappearing. That would really eat into the market for flying commuter stuff. Now, working from home, for some around here, seems to mean not working much at all while still getting paid for it, so there would be many smaller offices spread around a city to take the place of the one large office, where folks could walk or bike or bus a reasonable distance to work instead of long commutes, and where their performance could be monitored.

The people that actually build or fix stuff will still have to commute, but with automation and offshoring there's a lot less of that sort of work now.
 
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Magisterol

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The "flying car" that eventually manages to be both an acceptable car and an acceptable airplane... is clearly possible and it may indeed happen in our lifetimes. Some real-world advance in batteries, materials, etc. etc. will happen sooner or later, I have little doubt about it. There are lots of smart people working on it, with lots of money behind them.

But what we already do have right now are stupid/drunk/incompetent people driving 6000 pound Escalades on the same roads that I would be driving my 1200 pound lightweight carbon flying car on. We have lots of people that are not nearly mature enough to drive, and others who are a little too mature to still be driving their one-owner '72 Coupe de Ville.

I don't know about anywhere else, but in my town we have today's version of "street racing"... this bears no resemblance whatsoever to the innocent scenes in American Graffiti and Grease.

Today's street racing apparently has no crew-cut teenage safety monitors, nobody blocks off the streets to protect anybody, nobody picks even a halfway safe location away from the nearest pre-school. The somber reporter standing there with the grievinig family, in front of the house where their child was playing, and the mangled cars and the coroner's van... is almost a weekly spot on the TV news here.

Has anybody put any realistic thought into what happens when you're driving your neat little 1200 pound flying car from your garage to the Starbucks drive-thru, and Mrs. Plimpton with the blue hair is late for the Bingo game in the land yacht - or the local wanna-be rappers are out posturing and beat-box-ing with the 40 inch gold wheels on the Escalade?
So the weakest link is still the human being. An uneducated human being. Unfortunately society is majoritarian when it comes to lack of education. It is way more easier to be stupid because you don’t have to put any effort Into it. The way the “political” runs the society, it might get to a point where you are not all you build anything because you will “offend” the idiot. You will have to be stupid like the majority because you will make them feel inferior. You can’t have an airplane because you have to study to get your license and not everybody wants to do it. I think I am deviating “off course” with this ranting….
 

PMD

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Martensville SK
They need somewhere to put these things; somewhere that's outside the city property, somewhere that is already inured to the noise of aircraft.
I can tell you EXACTLY where I think they should put these things, but writing that out would be both rude and against the rules. It would keep them warm, though.

The simple, correct and environmentally sustainable answer is to stop commuting to work in megacities. If our planet is to continue to be home to our species, we need to stop devising more and more ways to do more and more of the things that CAUSE the problem. Best example: because of the whole BEV scam, now people are seriously trying to mine nodules from the deep ocean floor - that will result in essentially wiping out EVERY species that lives there. But the virtue signaling idiots can continue to make the dotcom billionaires who perpetrated the hoax into trillionaires. And we think cows are stupid!
 
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TFF

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I dream of cherry pies
Candy bars, and chocolate chip cookies
You've got it, you've got it
 

raytol

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I like the idea of flying my car above all the dangers on the road. Even the cheapest drones have auto stabilization, return and land functions and lots of other trick stuff. Sailplanes already have the FLARM system where they talk to each other and the ADSB in /out to help you not run into airliners. I read some years ago that there was a study done into flocks of birds flying into a tree and schools of fish how they don't run into each other when the sharks attack them. It was concluded that each unit only watched and reacted to it's nearest neighbor. I also likes the "highway in the sky" system of projecting a synthetic roadway onto a HUD /windscreen so that flying became more like driving so as not to spook the potential customers. Cessna had that idea when they started out and had the steering wheel like a car and used the driver on the same side to make it a natural progression.
 

Toobuilder

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...The simple, correct and environmentally sustainable answer is to stop commuting to work in megacities. If our planet is to continue to be home to our species, we need to stop devising more and more ways to do more and more of the things that CAUSE the problem. Best example: because of the whole BEV scam, now people are seriously trying to mine nodules from the deep ocean floor - that will result in essentially wiping out EVERY species that lives there. But the virtue signaling idiots can continue to make the dotcom billionaires who perpetrated the hoax into trillionaires. And we think cows are stupid!

This is not intended to be political, but it does touch on the "future world" discussion running through this thread...

The current political environment in the US views people living OUTSIDE the major urban centers as AN ENVIRONMENTAL AND SOCIAL PROBLEM that needs to be solved. There are many in power who are very vocal about this and Im sure this is why the BEV advocates are not worries at all about "range". The ideal culture for these visionaries is where people are all packed into dense urban centers and there will be no need to travel very far, ever. In the context of personal flying vehicles opening up vast travel options much like the personal car and the interstate system did for us - that is the LAST thing the "future government" wants. At least if it remains on its current trajectory.
 

Vigilant1

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The current political environment in the US views people living OUTSIDE the major urban centers as AN ENVIRONMENTAL AND SOCIAL PROBLEM that needs to be solved.
That's true, but it is just a matter of degree. There are many who view all humans as an environmental problem.
I won't dispute that humans have an environmental impact. But, I don't loathe myself or my species.
 

tspear

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I'd forgotten Soylent Green was set in 2022. Well, we dodged that bullet (as far as we know). ;)

When that movie came out, just to gross out some classmates. A friend and I bugged a few teachers (math, bio... ) to help with the formulas. We calculated the number of people in the world, over the last 100,000 years, and the probable aspect that you are eating something which was comprised of decomposed bodies. e.g. What Soylent Green was in nature versus the factory. Basically, 100% chance you are eating decomposed humans at every meal...

Tim
 

Toobuilder

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That's true, but it is just a matter of degree. There are many who view all humans as an environmental problem.
I won't dispute that humans have an environmental impact. But, I don't loathe myself or my species.

You may have missed the point - The current administration has people in power who think personal mobility is a "problem". The vision of the 1950's where people could jump in their cars and whisk the family from coast to coast efficiently or enable the suburban lifestyle at all are seen as "problems" through todays eyes. The freedom we have in GA today is contrary to the vision of the future (for some in power). Some people in office believe personal mobility as envisioned/marketed by Moller 50 years ago is now a threat to the common good.

The point is, in addition to the logical threats of the average driver having easy access to "flying cars", politicians and society is also increasingly unwilling to allow that level of personal freedom. We see it today, heed what tomorrow brings.
 

Vigilant1

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You may have missed the point - The current administration has people in power who think personal mobility is a "problem".
There are several salient points according to one way of thinking:
1) A human in the city has less adverse environmental impact than a person outside the city.
2) If people must move about, it should be done in a collectivized manner. Trains and busses are good, cars and GA are bad. The efficiency argument is made, the control argument is unstated.
3) Humans are a plague on the planet.
 
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I'd forgotten Soylent Green was set in 2022. Well, we dodged that bullet (as far as we know). ;)
Naw, they are just having a harder time herding us cats then they expected. To keep this all aviation related part 103 is pretty safe, for now. How much mobility can we really have with only 5 gallons of fuel and 254# of structure? What is the range of BlackFly?
 
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