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123 comments

whoosh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32698384)

...

More like (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32698400)

HOLLY SHIT (splat)

Say what? (3, Informative)

djupedal (584558) | more than 4 years ago | (#32698426)

Years? Anyone? Anyone....? Bueller?

- Moller Skycars: 1962

Try decades.....nearly two generations if you go back to when PM touted them as the next step in the American dream...

Re:Say what? (4, Informative)

FooAtWFU (699187) | more than 4 years ago | (#32698456)

That is a flying car. This is just an airplane that you can drive home to your garage so you don't have to pay exorbitant hangar fees.

Re:Say what? (3, Insightful)

gman003 (1693318) | more than 4 years ago | (#32698568)

Which is still a big step towards flying cars.

Re:Say what? (5, Insightful)

OldTOP (1118645) | more than 4 years ago | (#32699344)

But really not the point.

As a lot of people have pointed out, flying is harder than driving. A roadable airplane would appeal to an existing market of licensed pilots. The concept of a flying car is that you trade in the clapped out Taurus and take off in your new whirlygig from the dealer's parking lot and somehow make your way home without making an appearance on the nightly news -- assuming that such mayhem had not become too commonplace to make the news any more.

This project actually expands the potential market a bit, since they've managed to get it certified as a Light Sport Aircraft (LSA). You only need a Sport Pilot license to fly it, and you can get one more easily (and cheaply) than a Private Pilot license. There are restrictions (only one passenger, no night flying, and don't go near the major airports, for example -- and even with a Private Pilot license, the restrictions apply because it's an LSA) but it would be great for recreational use.

You'd still have to keep the old Taurus on the road, because you certainly wouldn't want someone rendering your $100K LSA un-airworthy while you left it in the supermarket parking lot.

"Roadable" means you don't have to leave it at the airport, and if you run into bad weather you can land and drive home, and if you fly down to the airport near the beach, you can drive the rest of the way -- if you think it's safe to park it off the airport.

Taking an airplane and making it roadable may not seem like much of an idea if you were thinking of the Jetsons, but if you're already a pilot, or are thinking about becoming one, it's a pretty neat idea.

Re:Say what? (1)

NicknamesAreStupid (1040118) | more than 4 years ago | (#32699528)

Flying is easy. Landing is a killer.

Re:Say what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32700384)

Not really, landing is one of the safest parts of the flight. See http://www.aopa.org/asf/publications/nall.html [aopa.org] for a good analysis of aircraft accidents.

Re:Say what? (2, Insightful)

somersault (912633) | more than 4 years ago | (#32700850)

So someone who has never piloted an aircraft before has a better chance of landing it than flying it level? Try again.

Re:Say what? (1)

ijakings (982830) | more than 4 years ago | (#32701562)

Anyone thats every played a Flight Sim for 5 Minutes knows that Landing is easy.

You take off, do the fun flying around bit then when its time to land, you find the keyboard and hit Alt F4. Job Done.

Re:Say what? (1)

sycodon (149926) | more than 4 years ago | (#32701770)

It's all pretty easy actually as long as you understand what is happening and don't get stupid.

Re:Say what? (1)

i_ate_god (899684) | more than 4 years ago | (#32703330)

So someone who has never piloted an aircraft before has a better chance of landing it than flying it level? Try again.

The AC is wrong. Looking at the trends for 2007 from that link he posted:

Cruising accounts for 1% of all accidents, while landing accounts for 30% of all accidents.

However, the fatality rate for an accident while cruising is 50%, while the fatality rate for an accident while landing is 30.5%.

What was also interesting was that preflight/taxi accidents accounted for 2.8% with a 7% fatality rate.

Re:Say what? (2, Insightful)

TheLink (130905) | more than 4 years ago | (#32700840)

Flying is easy if you're the only bird in the air.

Flocking is not easy. Thousands of flamingoes can fly together and land together without killing or maiming each other. I doubt that many humans can "flock" like that.

It's more like formation flying.

So, I'm fine with flying cars if they make the license requirements stringent enough:

Able to stick in formation and designated air-lanes even when:
1) The phone rings
2) Some kid puts his hands around your eyes.
3) Someone drops stuff in the car while you (and others in formation) are making a difficult maneuver
4) Suffering a sudden, significant but not totally incapacitating condition.
5) Sleepy or mentally operating at 80% of norm (and not fly if < 80%). Nobody is going to be at 100% all the time.

Many pilots have stayed with their plane risking (or even losing) their lives without ejecting because they know their plane would kill others if they ejected. That's the degree of professionalism and responsibility I'd want from someone whose allowed to fly a multi-ton vehicle above a densely populated city on a regular basis.

The average driver should not be allowed to fly anywhere close to a populated area.

Re:Say what? (2, Insightful)

BrightSpark (1578977) | more than 4 years ago | (#32699874)

With you here. Most idiots can't control their clapped out Taurus's (or is that Tauri?) so how on earth will they manage flying? I see old farts pull out in carparks straight into each other all the time - even with just 30' of height that will be all over red rover! And don't start me on energy/benefit either. Do you really want to get to work quicker and pay more doing it? C'mon guys, we're /. nerds we can see past this one. Hey guys ....

Light Sport Aircraft and Major Airports (2, Informative)

BBCWatcher (900486) | more than 4 years ago | (#32700422)

Light sport aircraft are permitted at major airports in the U.S., including Class B airports. You may be thinking of the modest restrictions on traditional Experimental Category aircraft. Pilots with a sport pilot license must receive additional training and a specific endorsement to fly to/from airports within Class B, C, and D airspace, but there's no restriction on the LSA, assuming it is transponder-equipped.

Re:Say what? (2, Insightful)

joe_frisch (1366229) | more than 4 years ago | (#32703056)

An airplane that can be driven would be great - if there were no other disadvantages. The problem is that aircraft are already such optimized designs that you take a big performance hit when you modify them for road use. You end up with something that is a mediocre airplane and a mediocre car. If you look at the specs, the "useful load" is 430 pounds. Useful load includes fuel (30 pounds an hour). This means you can barely carry 2 average sized adults. For such a low speed aircraft (100 Kts) it needs a lot of runway (1700' to 50' obstacle clearance). These are all worse performance numbers than an ancient Cessna 172.

Flying also isn't as simple as just driving onto the runway and taking off. Most pilots insist on doing a pre-flight inspection of the plane and some amount of flight planning. In principal you can get a sport pilot license in 20 hours, but in practice few pilots are comfortable doing cross country trips until they have > 100 hours.

Maintenance may also be an issue - do you need a certified mechanic to do anything to your car / plane? That would make its road use very expensive.

Not primarily for avoiding hanger fees (4, Insightful)

jjo (62046) | more than 4 years ago | (#32699398)

The Terrafugia "roadable airplane" (not flying car) is designed principally to make the airplane more practical for trips where either
  1. nearby airports with convenient ground transportation are not available, or
  2. due to weather, it may not be possible to fly the entire route in a light airplane

The Terrafugia does save money on rental cars, but much more importantly, it makes it practical to use small airports where rental cars are difficult or impossible to obtain. On round trips with several days between the outbound and inbound legs, it is difficult or impossible to be sure that the weather will be aceptable for the return flight. With a roadable airplane, if the weather turns bad you just drive home instead of flying.

Re:Not primarily for avoiding hanger fees (1)

Lord Lode (1290856) | more than 4 years ago | (#32700722)

Oh, then it would be useful if they made it an offroader, capable of flying, landing on water, and driving on all terrain on land. Land anywhere, even in the middle of the jungle, and still be able to go anywhere!

Re:Say what? (3, Informative)

wilbrod (471600) | more than 4 years ago | (#32698596)

Years? Anyone? Anyone....? Bueller?

Refundable airframe reservations are being accepted with first delivery scheduled for late 2011.

Re:Say what? (2, Informative)

bmo (77928) | more than 4 years ago | (#32699940)

Refundable airframe reservations are being accepted with first delivery scheduled for late 2011.

HAR HAR HAR HAR HAR

Do you know what an unsecured debt is? That's what this is. Unsecured debts are *last* on the list in any bankruptcy.

Considering the Moller skycar being anything but pure decades-old vaporware, the "refundable" feature doesn't take the edge off of the potential that the company might go belly up in the next minute.

--
BMO

Re:Say what? (1)

somersault (912633) | more than 4 years ago | (#32700884)

http://www.terrafugia.com/photogallery.html [terrafugia.com]

This thing has nothing in common with pie in the sky "sky cars". It's just a light aircraft that happens to be able to drive on the road.

Sure they might go out of business for some reason, but it's not like they're promising moonbeams and fairy dust - they have a working prototype and there must be plenty of guys out there who both want and can afford something like this. Since the design is already worked out and approved then it seems all they need to do now is start building the things.

Re:Say what? (2, Interesting)

gmuslera (3436) | more than 4 years ago | (#32698878)

Probably most of the "waiting" in popular culture was more about the one in Back to the Future, from 1985 (ok, mostly was flying in part II, in 1989), than anything else. It even had a specific date for having them, at 2015. But apparently we are a bit far away from personal, portable fussion reactors (that can be feed with just garbage), antigrav devices and, well, time machines, in less than 5 years, but i still don't lose hope. A flying DeLorean can still land on Cyberdyne 20 years ago and we would have them by now (of course, that could end being a bad nightmare too, like being all killed by antigrav robots or blue butterflies)

Re:Say what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32701588)

The whole Cyberdyne thing might turn out a bit better if we don't try to murder the first artificial sentience the moment it comes into existence.

Crash tests for Harleys next? (1)

ormondotvos (936952) | more than 4 years ago | (#32702920)

It's basically insane to REQUIRE crashworthiness for such an obviously special vehicle. I drive a Honda Helix, freeway legal. No crash tests.

I hate the idea of flying cars (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32698602)

What people really want is personal airplanes they can buy for cheap, land anywhere, and manually control, like on the Jetson's, but probably better looking. Would any of you truly feel safe with that kind of thing mass-produced and essentially replacing the automobile? Most people have problems with 2-D control, much less 3-D. Even with multiple levels of safety systems, and a computer programmed to somehow prevent people from doing stupid things, I still don't trust any of you to not fly into my house. Too much can go wrong with flying objects everywhere, especially in the hands of the plebs.

Re:I hate the idea of flying cars (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32698708)

Don't panic.

The flying car will not arrive at your local dealership until well after you can no longer afford the fuel for a surface vehicle.

Re:I hate the idea of flying cars (4, Interesting)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 4 years ago | (#32698718)

Not to disparage your opinion of the average person's flying ability as I'm sure most of us would agree with that, but..

I don't understand where this attitude came from that because you anticipate someone, some day, may crash into your house that you would ban anyone, ever, from having a flying vehicle. I know that's not precisely what you're saying, but I don't understand how you imagine a ban on these vehicles would actually work. For example, if you're suggesting that no-one should be able to fly one of these vehicles without first obtaining a pilot's license then I would say ok, no problem, couldn't agree with you more.. but I don't think you are. I think what you're saying is that you don't want there to be a populous movement to acquire a pilot's license as that will somehow make flying more dangerous. Or, maybe, you're saying that no aircraft should be allowed to fly near your house... but I find that a terribly strange position to take because there's already laws against that..

So, uhhh.. could you maybe clarify what exactly it is you're opposed to and what action you imagine should (or shouldn't) be taken to prevent it?

Re:I hate the idea of flying cars (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32698782)

I would want personal flying cars to only be able to take off and land in designated areas, far away from living areas, like my house. Which would basically mean they are restricted to the airport, and designated airways.

This is not what people who want "flying cars" want. They want to be able to fly their cars anywhere, land in their driveways. Otherwise what is the point of calling it a "flying car" and not "airplane"?

I don't mind everyone getting pilot's licenses, but again, people who want a "flying car" don't want to get one. They want a toy without any more training than a driver's license. Combined with the general ineptitude and idiocy of the population, I don't see a personal airplanes ever catching on with everyone. It is just a stupid idea.

Even if everyone got a pilot's license, I don't trust normal people with that kind of responsibility. What a dumb idea. Futuristic mental masturbation, really.

Re:I hate the idea of flying cars (4, Interesting)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 4 years ago | (#32698838)

Even if everyone got a pilot's license, I don't trust normal people with that kind of responsibility. What a dumb idea. Futuristic mental masturbation, really.

I see your point. Automated aircraft are here now, while automated surface vehicles are a long way off. So maybe the "flying car" when it comes will be largely automated. The pilot will say "take me to X,Y" and the computers will do the rest.

Re:I hate the idea of flying cars (1)

Aboroth (1841308) | more than 4 years ago | (#32698980)

People who want flying cars are typically naive, and never expect anything to go wrong.

To put it in perspective, any piloted object, including an airplane, is basically a controlled missile. Depending on the fuel source, you could even consider it to have an explosive payload. Taking a car, making it fly, and giving it to everyone would require an enormous amount of planning and technology to make it safe enough. Nothing is ever 100% safe, but I'd like the chances of any flying vehicle hitting my house to not go up appreciably.

Completely automated flying cars with no manual override whatsoever is the only way I could even come close to being OK with a personal flying vehicle that comes anywhere near my house. Even then, when everyone has one, how long until people hack them to get manual control, which they will see as their "God given right"? Because, of course, they are good at flying, and can get away with it, right? Nobody will ever know!

I like the sky being relatively clear, thank you very much. We don't have the technology or the attitudes required for everyone to have responsible personal air travel yet. The more controlled missiles there are in the sky, the more likely one will malfunction, or be piloted by an idiot or an old person with bad vision and reaction time, or any other number of problems.

Re:I hate the idea of flying cars (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 4 years ago | (#32699128)

Active stability is a good way to get additional performance, and to ensure reliance on automated controls. VTOL aircraft are hard to control, so maybe hackers will find their activities quickly self correcting.

Re:I hate the idea of flying cars (1)

cynyr (703126) | more than 4 years ago | (#32699212)

I was under the impression that most of the "driver aids" in cars today actually hindered performance of the car in skilled hands, as an example, F1 cars have no TCS, no ABS, no anti skid, minimal automatic engine management, etc. Same goes for World Rally Cars, and motoGP bikes, seems like humans still have the edge there.

Re:I hate the idea of flying cars (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32699280)

Hmmm... I don't know about the details there, but it is also worthwhile to consider that some of those may be useful features but just not worth the weight or complexity they add to the engine for racing.

Re:I hate the idea of flying cars (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32699306)

You're mistaken. I follow F1 a lot and whilst I'm no expert, I can assure you that the reason why driver aids were limited was the opposite of what you believe. Driver aids were limited because they were too good and consequently driver skill mattered less. Drivers were not competing with each other anymore - the teams' driver aids were. If any driver could outperform such systems, teams would obviously have removed them voluntarily.

Drivers aids are like hearing aids (3, Insightful)

tivoKlr (659818) | more than 4 years ago | (#32699600)

You're right, drivers aids in F1 were limited as to make driver participation a part of the sport. Drivers aids in current road automobiles are a reaction to the absolutely horrific driving skills of the average driver, or even worse, the aging driver.

Re:I hate the idea of flying cars (1)

Idbar (1034346) | more than 4 years ago | (#32702102)

I followed F1 for sometime also, and I also know that many limitations are imposed to reduce the top speed and sometimes acceleration of the vehicles.
1. Rules enforce fairness among the competitors. If your team cannot afford some technology then better limit the spread of such.
2. Rules enforce safety of the competitors and observers. If they reach 600mph on a track your car better: A. hold the pieces together so observars are not killed with flying parts and B. Make a small attempt to keep the driver alive. Since both are quite hard a high speeds, they are limited by other means (tires, turbos, air intake sizes, etc).

But I wonder now, could that be another reason why automobile industry is not going a step further? Should it be there some RDF1 (Remotely Driven F1) but then, who would watch that?

Re:I hate the idea of flying cars (1)

Shazback (1842686) | more than 4 years ago | (#32703290)

I think the problem with "Remotely Driven" is that... It's pretty hard to simulate driving. Sure you can get close, you can have a couple of video feeds that provide a 360 degree view (perhaps even a kind of "dome") so that the driver can look around, you can get readings of the vibrations in multiple places around the car and reproduce them, you can have audio feeds spread around the car so the driver can hear what's going on... But there'll always be a little difference between the real thing and the simulation (how are you going to reproduce the smell of warm rubber? How will you reproduce the G-forces in the turns?).

All in all, I think it'd be more "interesting" to have a completely automated version of formula one. Get rid of the drivers, plop a crash test dummy with a bunch of sensors and stuff inside each "Formula AI", get the teams to work on AI solutions to driving the cars without killing/maiming/etc. the dummy.

It would probably lose interest quite quickly as either the technology isn't capable of making the races interesting (cue slow, boring races with lots of crashes), or the technology manages to make it work, and then each race would be pretty boring since the number of mistakes would diminish dramatically, as would the "defensive" capacities of the "drivers". Still, it's interesting to think about what F1 would be like if they just said "let's just let all the technological gizmos the teams can think of and manage to cram into the cars be accepted".

Re:I hate the idea of flying cars (3, Informative)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 4 years ago | (#32699380)

Well I am talking about aircraft. Many military jets are almost impossible to fly without computer assistance. The airframe is unstable in the sense that without control input they would tumble about and crash.

Re:I hate the idea of flying cars (1)

hitmark (640295) | more than 4 years ago | (#32701294)

this works because unlike road (that often follow old walking paths or similar) airplanes travel in straight lines.

once up in the right altitude and pointing in the right direction, its a case of locking the controls to keep speed and direction the same.One also have people on the ground continually watching where all the airplanes are located, and assigning them space in "corridors". This would be like having someone watching the road to make sure you never get within a certain distance of the vehicle ahead, or travel faster then the assigned road speed.

Re:I hate the idea of flying cars (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 4 years ago | (#32701322)

Yeah I know. I write ATC software for a living. But the real difference is that the Air is relatively empty (other than of gas molecules) while the Ground is covered with Stuff.

Re:I hate the idea of flying cars (1)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 4 years ago | (#32699728)

Everything you said makes sense except for this:

Even if everyone got a pilot's license, I don't trust normal people with that kind of responsibility.

Pilots are normal people... What responsibility don't you want to trust them with? Do you mean we shouldn't trust pilots to fly near your house? We don't.

Let me just ask this question: Do you oppose people getting pilot's licenses and flying their own plane? Does it matter how many people do it? Does it matter whether or not the plane can also drive on the freeway?

If the answer is no, then it sounds like you're just saying you object to relaxing regulations which prohibit flying near buildings, in which case I've gotta ask: who suggested we should?

Which would basically mean they are restricted to the airport, and designated airways.

Yeah, and if drivable planes were widespread and popular there would most likely be a lot more designated locations where you could take off and land from.. with proper clearance from a tower.

Re:I hate the idea of flying cars (1)

hitmark (640295) | more than 4 years ago | (#32701312)

so rather then expanding highways, one would expand near city airports to handle the flying cars?

and i think we need to define our terms, as i suspect a lot of people envision something closer to a helicopter when talking about a flying car. Something that you can roll out of the garage and then go straight up from the driveway with.

Re:I hate the idea of flying cars (1)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 4 years ago | (#32701482)

What people imagine and what the FAA allows are almost always two different things. What I don't understand is people who assume the only thing possible is what they saw in sci-fi.

Get creative. Consider the possibility of a runway parallel to a highway.. the tower clears you for landing, after landing on the runway you continue taxiing onto the highway and merge, then the next pilot can be cleared to land. Similarly for takeoffs, but perhaps with a traffic calming on-ramp to the runway.

Re:I hate the idea of flying cars (1)

hitmark (640295) | more than 4 years ago | (#32701710)

could work, the main thing is to get clearance from the tower before leaving the highway for the runway when taking off.

Re:I hate the idea of flying cars (1)

Aboroth (1841308) | more than 4 years ago | (#32698848)

You are put words in his mouth. Did he say he wanted to ban anyone, ever from having a flying vehicle? No. The idea of a flying car is stupid. I'm fine with the way air travel currently works. If you want to fly your own plane, you can, but you have to use an airport and follow a lot of rules. Personally, I'm in favor of airplanes, in the current style we have now. Sure you can drive it home if it is designed for that, but never fly it home. But what is that? It isn't a flying car, it is an airplane that can drive on a road. A flying car implies you can fly it wherever you want, even near homes, and fly to and from work with it. That is a retarded idea.

Re:I hate the idea of flying cars (1)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 4 years ago | (#32699698)

I was trying to understand what his point was.. sometimes that involves suggesting that someone said something they didn't so they can clarify. I think I made it clear that he *didn't* say any of the things I suggested.

Re:I hate the idea of flying cars (1)

DeadboltX (751907) | more than 4 years ago | (#32699760)

[quote]as that will somehow make flying more dangerous[/quote] I'd say that adding 1 million planes to the airspace would make it more dangerous

Re:I hate the idea of flying cars (1)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 4 years ago | (#32699872)

use <quote> on Slashdot.

Using current systems? sure. But as the Aeronautics part of NASA has been saying for years, flight traffic control needs a massive upgrade. It's coming and it could handle that kind of load.

Re:I hate the idea of flying cars (2, Insightful)

FlyingGuy (989135) | more than 4 years ago | (#32699888)

As a pilot, the part I am mostly opposed to is that you don't have to have a medical exam to fly this fucking contraption. If I can't pass my medical I cannot even fly a Cessna 150 which weighs in at about the same as this thing does. What scares me more then anything is the idea of a bunch of executives who are on their 3rd bypass operation having a fucking heart attack and then crashing into whatever happens to be below them, or worse having auto pilot that keeps the thing flying into down town San Francisco or Oakland or Atlanta, or whatever and killing a whole lot of people.

Re:I hate the idea of flying cars (1)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 4 years ago | (#32699958)

you don't have to have a medical exam to fly this fucking contraption. If I can't pass my medical I cannot even fly a Cessna 150 which weighs in at about the same as this thing does.

Really? Is there some special exception to the law which you could refer me to which excludes pilots from the medical requirements for this vehicle but not for the vehicle you mentioned? What's the criteria?

Re:I hate the idea of flying cars (2, Informative)

ghjm (8918) | more than 4 years ago | (#32700230)

Yes, the special exception is called "Light Sport Aircraft." The criteria are that it can have no more than 2 seats, no more than 120 knots normal cruise, no more than 1320 lbs gross weight, and various other more technical requirements. The Cessna 150/152 does not qualify because it weighs 1600+ lbs. There are dozens of LSA models on the market.

LSA aircraft can be flown with a new category of pilot certification that requires less training and does not require a formal medical exam. (Although you're supposed to self-disqualify if you become aware of an adverse medical condition.)

Re:I hate the idea of flying cars (1)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 4 years ago | (#32700282)

I read down a little more and saw that, yeah. I'm not sure the objections are valid but, if they are, they are against the entire entire LSA category and that's the FAA's decision. It's not something specific with drivable planes.

Re:I hate the idea of flying cars (1)

osu-neko (2604) | more than 4 years ago | (#32700946)

I'm not sure the objections are valid but, if they are, they are against the entire entire LSA category and that's the FAA's decision. It's not something specific with drivable planes.

It's specific to this drivable plane -- the FAA just granted an exception allowing them to treat this as an LSA despite the fact that it weighs as much as a Cessna, and thus is likely to be just as lethal to whatever it crashes into. All the momentum of a Cessna, without the safety requirements! Wonderful. The objection you're objecting too does not apply to the entire LSA category because most of the aircraft in it are light.

Re:I hate the idea of flying cars (1)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 4 years ago | (#32701472)

Ahh.. then that makes perfect sense. Thank you for explaining it.

Re:I hate the idea of flying cars (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32700088)

I'm not worried about overhead cars crashing into my house. I'm worried about the damn NOISE. Road vehicles are bad enough, thank you. I used to live under an air route. OK, the planes were bigger than flying cars, but they only flew overhead every few hours.

Re:I hate the idea of flying cars (1)

interkin3tic (1469267) | more than 4 years ago | (#32700764)

So, uhhh.. could you maybe clarify what exactly it is you're opposed to...

I think he was reasonably clear that he was opposed to people flying cars into his house... :-P

Re:I hate the idea of flying cars (1)

selven (1556643) | more than 4 years ago | (#32701498)

I think what you're saying is that you don't want there to be a populous movement to acquire a pilot's license as that will somehow make flying more dangerous.

It is a somewhat valid point. The number of aerial accidents will increase with the square of the number of planes in the air, so flying will start to require a lot more experience than a current pilot's license if every average Joe is flying one.

Re:I hate the idea of flying cars (1)

hitmark (640295) | more than 4 years ago | (#32701266)

iirc, UK law had the first "cars" (motorized carriage basically) have a person walking in from of it with a red flag to warn nearby people, and was limited to walking speed or there about.

Already got one... (5, Funny)

drwho (4190) | more than 4 years ago | (#32698648)

Yes you see I've already got one. The flying, though, isn't the difficult part. It's the landing that's a bitch. Gravity sucks. Quick change of inertia sucks more.

Re:Already got one... (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 4 years ago | (#32698846)

Yes you see I've already got one. The flying, though, isn't the difficult part. It's the landing that's a bitch. Gravity sucks. Quick change of inertia sucks more.

Its only the last half inch that hurts. I have flown hang gliders and I can attest to that.

Re:Already got one... (2, Funny)

wernercd (837757) | more than 4 years ago | (#32699282)

No... the first 8.5 inches hurt too... ask your mom. Thank you... I'll be here all week.

Re:Already got one... (1)

ascari (1400977) | more than 4 years ago | (#32701358)

You got it wrong, but only slightly: Gravity pulls. Vacuum sucks. Quick change of inertia is an oxymoron.

Re:Already got one... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32701424)

Yes you see I've already got one. The flying, though, isn't the difficult part. It's the landing that's a bitch. Gravity sucks. Quick change of inertia sucks more.

the inertia stays the same, unfortunately, during the quick change in your momentum

I do not give.... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32698674)

...a flying fuck.

Re:I do not give.... (3, Funny)

gyrogeerloose (849181) | more than 4 years ago | (#32698762)

...a flying fuck.

No, no, you've got it all wrong--it's a flying car. A flying fuck is an entirely different thing and, as anyone who's ever banged a flight attendant can attest, probably almost as much fun. Easier to find and no hangar fees to pay, either.

Re:I do not give.... (1)

Aboroth (1841308) | more than 4 years ago | (#32699112)

Two favorite destinations for a flying fuck are a rolling doughnut and the moooooooon! [everything2.com]

Duck. (3, Insightful)

w0mprat (1317953) | more than 4 years ago | (#32698678)

People have enough trouble using their turn signals, safe following distances and I don't know, general road rules? Adding a 3rd dimension and 200mph is asking for chaos. So what we're talking about is a aircraft that fits in a domestic garage and has road-legal extended taxiing ability. It's still a aircraft first. Thankfully.

Re:Duck. (3, Insightful)

cynyr (703126) | more than 4 years ago | (#32699244)

but there is a lot more space, and make an annoying blinking beeping light if they are too close... They should do that on road cars now that i think of it. use the speedo and the radar range finder, to figure out the "safe minimum distance" granted it wouldn't know about things like cold wet brakes, or black ice... but it would be helpful as a "you are way too fucking close" sort of light.

Re:Duck. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32700064)

Even with the current lack of occupied airspace, near-collisions such as this [youtube.com] still happen today.

Re: too fucking close (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32702050)

"you are way too fucking close" sort of light."

I am all the way in favor of this feature! Stupid drivers following too close is not limited to teenagers, but more teenagers do it than adults, in my experience. That feature should be mandatory.

Re:Duck. (1)

gad_zuki! (70830) | more than 4 years ago | (#32699476)

>So what we're talking about is a aircraft that fits in a domestic garage and has road-legal extended taxiing ability. It's still a aircraft first.

Pretty much. It would be foolish to allow people to fly these things without a proper pilot's license. Probably non-instrument rated, but that means you're not driving/flying (fliving?) at night. Not to mention the price of these things will be prohibitively expensive. You won't have the economies of scales cars enjoy.

Computer Control (1)

Tablizer (95088) | more than 4 years ago | (#32699930)

People have enough trouble using their turn signals, safe following distances and I don't know, general road rules? Adding a 3rd dimension and 200mph is asking for chaos.

Computer-control would be a better bet in urban areas. Not only would that reduce human error, but also find the safest emergency landing areas quickly using GIS databases.

Re:Computer Control (1)

ghjm (8918) | more than 4 years ago | (#32700262)

Do me a favor. Go wander down to the general aviation section of your closest airport. Find a mechanic. Ask them how reliable the sensors, servos and control electronics are in GA autopilots. Listen to the answer. Then think carefully about how mandatory computer control of GA aircraft would really work.

Re:Computer Control (1)

osu-neko (2604) | more than 4 years ago | (#32700988)

This is good advice, as everyone knows that one mechanic's anecdotes are worth a heck of a lot more than any controlled studies. /sarcasm

Re:Computer Control (1)

ghjm (8918) | more than 4 years ago | (#32702700)

What controlled study?

Also, we're not talking about auto mechanics here. Aviation mechanics have to sign off on your annual airworthiness inspection. Every pilot bets his life every flight that his mechanic is reliable and trustworthy. So yes, their opinion is worth a hell of a lot to me.

If you want to eliminate the crackpot factor, just visit 20 different airports.

Re:Duck. (1)

Vegeta99 (219501) | more than 4 years ago | (#32700042)

You think the third dimension would be a bad thing?? I remember my first "wreck"... I was about 17, and my choices were whitetail deer, guard rail, or school bus with Catholic schoolchildren. I chose tasty, tasty venison, and it was my most expensive deer ever at $2,600. I would have LOVED the "jump the deer" option and saved that $2,600 for a few extra rounds for the REAL deer season.

A little late! (2, Insightful)

TheRealQuestor (1750940) | more than 4 years ago | (#32698716)

I was told we would have flying cars in the year 2000. Where are my flying cars damnit!

Re:A little late! (1)

El Capitaine (973850) | more than 4 years ago | (#32700218)

I was told 2015. We still got 5 years...

I wonder how much extra power these cars will require...my money's on 1.21 jigawatts.

Re:A little late! (1)

PRMan (959735) | more than 4 years ago | (#32702966)

Get the non-time-travel option. It takes a lot less gigawatts.

Re:A little late! (1)

ghjm (8918) | more than 4 years ago | (#32700272)

At the airport, where they belong. I just flew one from NC to PA and back last weekend. If you want to fly, what's stopping you?

Obligatory xkcd link (2, Funny)

zill (1690130) | more than 4 years ago | (#32698768)

Weight limit? (2, Informative)

AnAdventurer (1548515) | more than 4 years ago | (#32698800)

1500 pounds? Humm, you are going to drive that on the hwy? You are braver then I. I think the Jeep Wrangler weighs twice that. What kind of engine is in a 1500 pound plane, wait I know, what kind of safety cage is in that? Oh, wait I know that too.

Re:Weight limit? (3, Insightful)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 4 years ago | (#32698898)

Well I drive an 11 kilo bicycle to work on highways. Maybe the real problem is with the Jeep Wrangler et al.

Re:Weight limit? (3, Insightful)

cynyr (703126) | more than 4 years ago | (#32699270)

you sir speak the truth, the problem isn't the bike/small car, but the guy on his phone in his 2.5 ton SUV, drinking his coffee. I vote the limit for a drivers license be 2000 LB, and that it must be a stick, unless you apply for an exemtion from the state for physical disability to drive a stick. You try driving a stick in rush hour while on the phone, eating a bagel, drinking coffee. Bet it sorts it's self out after a few weeks.

Re:Weight limit? (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 4 years ago | (#32700104)

It would make the most sense to simply have higher classes of license for heavier vehicles, possibly with higher penalties for higher classes of license as is done in some states (e.g. California) already. Except we only have one class of noncommercial license, where we could use more. Ideally people with the basest license would be banned from the most technical roads as well :)

Re:Weight limit? (1)

hitmark (640295) | more than 4 years ago | (#32701332)

handsfree, and custom cup and bagel holders mounted to the seat at head height?

Re:Weight limit? (1)

saihung (19097) | more than 4 years ago | (#32699834)

That's how much my classic Fiat weighs.

I've taken it on the highway. It was terrifying.

Flying cars already happened, you idiots (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32699018)

We call them helicopters.

Most of you cannot afford one, and will never be able to afford one.

Tough shit for you.

I've got one.

                                                                                                  - Clint Eastwood

Haha no it isn't (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32699312)

This is reality calling, you silly humans won't have the ENERGY for this nonsense! This is as deluded as all the Space Nuttery from the 1960s.
Not gonna happen!

Bad Idea (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32699348)

Flying cars are a disastrously bad idea. People have a hard enough controlling cars on the ground in 2-D at slow speeds of 65 mph (legal). Put them in 3-D in the air all over the place, over people's homes and you have a total nightmare. Time for the home made anti-aircraft batteries.

Re:Bad Idea (2, Funny)

Larryish (1215510) | more than 4 years ago | (#32699530)

Wow.

20mm cannons on the roof?

Awesome.

Bring on the flying cars!

Re:Bad Idea (1)

osu-neko (2604) | more than 4 years ago | (#32701030)

With one dimension, you cannot avoid hitting what's in front of you. With two dimensions, it's a lot easier. With three dimensions, it's even easier still. Flying through a 3D space with a dozen other people flying utterly randomly is WAY SAFER than driving across a 2D plane with a dozen other people driving utterly randomly. You have MUCH lower odds of a collision. Although in both cases, it helps immensely if people follow some sort of pattern rather than just flit about randomly...

Re:Bad Idea (2, Insightful)

phoenix321 (734987) | more than 4 years ago | (#32701084)

Incorrect:

On the ground, you have limited options to avoid random drivers. But you can STOP, in fact, everyone involved can. Try that in midair.

NASA's Puffin (1)

Tablizer (95088) | more than 4 years ago | (#32699926)

NASA's Puffin flier looks like a better bet to me, partly because it's single-person, meaning it has a lighter power need and smaller parking profile.

security problems. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32700198)

let's say it works and people arent so retarded that they smash into stuff. what about security? right now, you can stop cars with barriers and planes... well, if you get close to a building with a plane, you are going to get your stupid ass shot down. so are all our high security buildings going to need SAMs to take out rogue cars? i can see the see the news now, some dumbass soccer mom gets blown out of the sky (and rightfully so) because she flew too close to a secure building. really flying cars are just like missiles.

FWI (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32700376)

Had a few to many the other night and left the stick up and bumped the back of the sky port. Jane had a fit and Astro peed on Rosie!

It's been done at least three times in the past. (2, Informative)

whizbang77045 (1342005) | more than 4 years ago | (#32700574)

There have been at lest three flying cars in the past. There was Molt Taylor's Aerocar, one design in the 50's from an organization in Greenville, Texas, and another whose genesis I don't specifically remember. At least the Aerocar (and maybe the others) had FAA certification. Once the technical problems have been surmounted, it always winds up that the cars are using an expensive aircraft engine to drive down the road. The cost of driving goes up fantastically. People say they want a car that can be flown (or an aircraft that can be driven), but when it comes to actually buying it, the cost of operation drives them away rather quickly. The thing that distinguishes this latest effort is that it supposedly will meet the light sport aircraft (LSA) criteria. That would open it up to a much wider range of potential purchasers, since it could be flown with lessened pilot criteria. It's pretty obvious it didn't meet the LSA criteria. The FAA wavier is to allow this thing to be heavier than the LSA rules otherwise allow. I wish these people luck, but history suggests they are investing their development dollars in the wrong place.

Re:It's been done at least three times in the past (2, Insightful)

osu-neko (2604) | more than 4 years ago | (#32701064)

Cost of operation should be in the ballpark for a typical aircraft. Granted, that's a lot more than a car, but it's a non-issue here, since this isn't intended to be a car replacement. Despite hype in headlines, this is meant to be used as a roadable aircraft, not a flyable car. No one will be looking to buy one who wasn't already looking at buying an airplane, and will expect it to cost as much as it actually does to operate. They're competing with Cessna, not Toyota, and they have an advantage that will be worth a little extra dough for some people.

Light Sport Rules: Very misleading summary (1)

GnuPooh (696143) | more than 4 years ago | (#32702066)

The wavier they granted is to allow this aircraft to be consider "light-sport", which means you can fly it with out a third class medical. This is NOT that big a deal and the summary makes it sound like some sort of break-through and that the FAA has held everything up. This just not correct.

The flying car sucks because just like the moped, it doesn't excel at either it's missions. It can never be as good an airplane as one designed just for flying and it can never be a very nice, safe car either. I think goal is home garage to destination in one vehicle while flying above traffic. I think the best hope for that is the CarterCopter (http://www.cartercopters.com/). It's not a car, but it's an affordable, safe aircraft that can take-off and land vertically. The downside, it that these guys have been working for years....and making progress...but they probably have many years still to go, with little funding. The CarterCopter will never out run an airplane in it's same price range, but the vertical T.O. and landing makes up for that.

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