No Flying Car Yet, But Here, How About A Flight Simulator Of What It Would Be Like?

from the chitty-chitty-bang-bang dept

For years and years, futurists have predicted an age of “flying cars,” that has never come about. Sure, there are plenty of startups out there working on such things, and a prototype here or there — but the futuristic age of flying cars are still the stuff of myth and legend. Now, yet another company claims it will soon have what it calls “roadable aircraft” available, but you’re going to have to wait two or three years (though, they’re more than willing to take a deposit now). However, in the meantime, they’re offering a flight simulator version of what it would be like if their vehicles actually existed. They call them roadable aircrafts, since they’re meant more as flying vehicles, only to be driven short distances on roads (such as from your garage to an airport). So, if you’re keeping track… you still can’t buy a flying car. But, you can download a version of their vehicle if you happen to already own one particular brand of flight simulator. Somehow, that doesn’t make us seem anywhere closer to having flying cars.


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Comments on “No Flying Car Yet, But Here, How About A Flight Simulator Of What It Would Be Like?”

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24 Comments
jordan says:

the anwser to flying cars is not flying at all…its not even a car. MONSTER TRUCKS is what people need. it would work perfectly.
the fastest way between two points its a straight line.thats what a plane is all about (well that and speed if you want to be an asshole about it). and a monster truck can plaze a fucking path. and believe it or not they can also go across water, because the tires are so huge that they keep it afloat.
sure you dont have the same speed, but with a plane you have to have a flight plan. drive to the airport and land at an air port. this cuts down on the speed of the system, giving the monster truck the advantage. and its also the answer to traffic jams. all you have to do is put it in low gear and crush the poor bastards under you while you hurry home to your frozen saulsbery steak tv dinners and re-runs of MASH.

Annoying Bastard says:

screw that!

I’m going to build my own quantum accelerator and leap back in time to when I was being born and strangulate myself on my umbilical cord so I won’t fall prey to the mass media driven machine that made me sell my own soul before I even had the chance to know better. ๐Ÿ˜›

Then I wouldn’t even need to worry about the next great energy-hungry invention that I mass produced without even beginning to consider the global ramifications.

Maybe if I cared more about silly things like a long-term, viable mass transit solution, such as a national electric railroad system, I wouldn’t be so obsessed with becoming some overworked dweeb like George Jetson just so I could have a flying car…

And just so I can really sound like a commie…

Maybe we should pool our resources for the greater good instead of squandering them individually?

Oh, wait, I went off topic… Sorry!

It;s too bad this will never have happenned if I succeed!
๐Ÿ˜›

Brad says:

Bad understanding of time

You can’t change the past. It fundamentally doesn’t work. Whatever you might try to do would have already happened the first time around, and so things can only go the exact same way.

How arrogent are YOU to think that the universe cares what one particular set of molecules does to another? You’re not special, you can’t change the past, or the future for that matter.

Your quantum-anything device will never happen, kid.

Anonymous of course says:

Flight simulator? Yarrgh!

One of the co-op students in my lab went on to work
for MD and was a flight simulator project. They had
a leather aviator’s helmet for the guy who rode the
simulator ala Snoopy.

One day he arrived at work severely hung over
and very late. His manager just looked at him
and then handed him the helmet. He told me
he had never felt so sick as that day and hopes
never to feel that sick ever again. I think they
set him up for a rough ride.

PS. I’m a time traveler, and I’ve invented
the Wayforward machine. It looks like a
regular office chair but when you sit in it
and read Techdirt…

Mike Brown (user link) says:

It would be nice, but...

The biggest annoyance of being a private pilot is that when you get where you’re going, you have to rent a car, take a cab or walk. A “roadable aircraft” would be an ideal solution, even if it’s nothing more than a way to drive to your appointment or into town for the proverbial $100 hamburger, then drive back to the airport for the flight home.

The problem is that cars and aircraft are designed to conflicting goals, and it may not be possible to create a single vehicle which will meet the technical and (more difficult) regulatory requirements of both flying and driving on the highway. By the time you’re done adding the safety stuff required for a legal roadable car (air bags, legal bumpers and side-impact beams, crumple zones, lights, safety glass, etc.) you’re already much heavier than an equivalent sized airplane. Then, you need two power systems – don’t expect to get government approval to run your propellor or jet engine on the street, and the front-wheel drive won’t do you a lot of good in the air. Then, there’s all of the required “stuff” for both modes of transportation – wings and empennage and all the required navigation and other instrumentation, plus radio communications equipment and a transponder for flying, four wheels and associated steering and braking.

By the time you’re done you’ve got something which is neither a good car nor a practical plane, and that’s what killed all of the previous systems.

Finally, something they didn’t need to deal with back in the 50’s when “Love that Bob” was flying his flying car – you need to get your vehicle certified by the FAA and the NTSB (or is it NHTSA?) and EPA and I don’t know how many other government agencies, while the time stretches into years and decades and your financing dries up.

It would be nice, but I expect I’m going to be renting cars for a long time to come.

Another Pilot says:

Re: It would be nice, but...

That was a good response, and right-on.

I think some innovation could result easily enough in an engine that could switch alternatively between powering wheels and power the prop, or perhaps a small engine just for the wheels, but that’d have to be certified from the ground up. The only pseudo-recent engine is the Thielert, and it’s had slower than hell uptake in the market despite promising to remove dependence on 100LL.

http://www.moller.com/skycar/

There is that, but thats not cost effective or available yet.

NASA and the FAA would also need to finally finalize their systems to allow these types of aircraft to proceed from point A to point B safely, in a nearly fully automated fashion, in a highly efficient air traffic control environment that requires no input from the average joe who probably is given limited training on how to land in an emergency but beyond that must be fully assumed to be passed out drunk for the duration of the flight. Otherwise we’d all be asking for trouble..

I suspect we’ll be renting cars for a long time to come too.. On the bright side, these light sport planes are bringing some nice high-end tech to the low-end market. Hopefully competition finally takes prices out of the stratosphere! Paying 300k for technology that was phased out of cars 15-20 years ago is sick, and so is inflated avionics costs, and 15k for an option like air conditioning? Not that it’s smart performance wise, but thats inflated beyond realistic levels. Competition needs to work its magic here.

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