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canucklehead2 Jul 14, 2017 7:29 PM

Flying cars!
At least half of my obsession with The Jetsons came from the flying cars they had. Good to know that there are still people working furiously to finally make them a reality. Following the path of drones and other UAV to mainstream use, flying car concepts seem to have finally come of age thanks to the mass-market introduction of electric cars and the rapidly diminishing cost of lithium-ion batteries, thanks largely Elon Musk and Tesla for that one!

Here are some of the most promising projects...

A German flying car with some well-heeled backers...

Chinese Quadcopter being commercially tested in Dubai this year...

electricron Jul 14, 2017 7:45 PM

The Jetson's flying cars depending upon some means of anti-gravity. Which doesn't exist because gravity is not a Newtonian force as much as it is an Einstein huge mass warping time-space.
Once you put wings on a car it is no longer a car, it becomes an airplane that's regulated and licensed by the federal government instead of by states..

M II A II R II K Jul 14, 2017 7:46 PM

We've had flying cars for the longest time, they're called helicopters.

dubu Jul 14, 2017 8:05 PM

I liked the speeder bikes when I was a kid. Never really liked Star Wars much, I like Star Trek more.

Video Link

Stan31 Jul 14, 2017 8:44 PM

These are cool concepts. Flying cars have been around since the 40's but there's no real demand for them, no one wants to deal with having a flying car, people are just interested in looking at them on YouTube but not actually buying them. There's been a number of failed companies manufacturing flying cars or trying to generate hype around their product.

I am one of those people who want to have the latest gadget, but realistically, as much as I'm pro-flying cars, I'm probably not going to get one even if I could afford it. I don't even want to deal with having a driving car, and the infrastructure is basically there, although that's arguable in NYC, while having a flying car just seems like a constant headache.

canucklehead2 Jul 15, 2017 5:12 AM

I am sure some people said the same thing about cell phones and television too so you're probably in good company. ;)

I personally think they will be here in short order in but the timeline will depend largely on the batteries and automation of flight much like electric car adoption. Apparently the Lilium Jet project will only require a 25-hour flight course because it will qualify as a Light Sport Aircraft... And because the cost of electricity even at an airplane sized battery scale is of so little consequence I can see small light air taxis taking a big chunk of at least the regional flight market since even by conservative estimates 90% of airports in the USA and Canada have little to no traffic through them, which is a lot of unused capacity!

ssiguy Jul 15, 2017 5:57 AM

The reality is that until they are made to be long distance and completely self flying from start to finish then they will only be a novelty. Until that time a flying license will be required which few will be bothered to get.

Also try getting insurance to make it legal to even fly.

M II A II R II K Aug 13, 2020 6:27 PM

Eyes on the skies: SkyDrive plans to launch flying cars in three years



- Tokyo-based SkyDrive Inc.’s CEO Tomohiro Fukuzawa is convinced that by 2050 anyone will be able to fly to any destination within the capital’s 23 wards in 10 minutes. The potential is enormous, with global demand for electric vertical take-off and landing aircraft (eVTOL) set to reach $1.5 trillion (¥158 trillion) by around 2040, according to research by Morgan Stanley in 2019. --- A market for the vehicles “could likely begin as an ultraniche add-on to existing transportation infrastructure, similar to how helicopters operate today,” said Rajeev Lalwani, Morgan Stanley’s lead analyst covering airlines and aircrafts. “They could later transform into a cost-effective, time-efficient method of traveling short to medium distances, eventually taking business away from car and airline companies.”

- Although there are more than 100 flying car projects globally, including major international firms such as Boeing Co., Airbus SE and Uber Technologies Inc., the two-seater vehicle envisioned by SkyDrive is unique in that it is the world’s smallest flying car, and can fit in a parking space for two conventional cars. --- Naysayers are skeptical about the possibility of making the flying cars of sci-fi movies like the DeLorean in the “Back to the Future” series a reality. But flying car projects are getting a helping hand from Japan’s government, which is pushing for their commercialization in 2023. The government’s ultimate goal is using airspace to transport people in big cities, to avoid traffic jams, and providing a new mode of transport for mountainous areas and remote islands, or for use in case of natural disasters and other emergencies.

- According to Fukuzawa, it won’t be until the late 2020s that the firm would be able to produce eVTOLs that can run on normal roads at speeds of up to 60 kph. But the small size, lightness and quietness of battery-powered aircraft would make it easier to set up takeoff and landing spots in highly convenient locations, like the flat top of a concrete building, compared with the limited number of heliports available for helicopters, for example. --- Having attracted more than 100 sponsors including NEC Corp., Panasonic Corp. and Yazaki Corp. for financial, technical parts supply and human resource support, SkyDrive is making final preparations to demonstrate a manned flight this summer. It is aiming to commercialize an air taxi service in 2023, and sell a fully autonomous flying car for the general public in 2028.


M II A II R II K Aug 29, 2020 6:33 PM

Japan's 'Flying Car' Gets off Ground, With a Person Aboard



- Japan’s SkyDrive Inc., among the myriads of “flying car” projects around the world, has carried out a successful though modest test flight with one person aboard. --- Tomohiro Fukuzawa, who heads the SkyDrive effort, said he hopes “the flying car” can be made into a real-life product by 2023, but he acknowledged that making it safe was critical. --- The machine so far can fly for just five to 10 minutes but if that can become 30 minutes, it will have more potential, including exports to places like China, Fukuzawa said. --- Unlike airplanes and helicopters, eVTOL, or “electric vertical takeoff and landing,” vehicles offer quick point-to-point personal travel, at least in principle. They could do away with the hassle of airports and traffic jams and the cost of hiring pilots, they could fly automatically.


itom 987 Aug 31, 2020 5:13 AM

^ Santa's new sleigh!

electricron Aug 31, 2020 8:30 AM

Rotating blades to provide lift makes the supposedly small car into a helicopter or plane, which would require a pilot's license to fly in the USA. The guardless blades would also make it into a huge meat grinder to any nearby pedestrians.

AbabelleS Sep 9, 2020 5:50 PM

love it!

Originally Posted by M II A II R II K (Post 9026442)

just freaking amazing

HomeInMyShoes Sep 9, 2020 5:53 PM

Given our inability to really do 2D (cars on a street) navigation safely, I'm thinking 3D navigation is going to be quite interesting.

M II A II R II K Nov 13, 2020 8:22 PM

The flying car is here – and it could change the world



- Advances in battery energy density, materials science and computer simulation have spurred the development of a range of personal flying vehicles (and the navigation systems that will allow them to run), from electric gliders to fixed-wing craft and quadcopter drones. — Far smaller than a commercial plane, most are designed with rotors instead of wings, which allow for vertical takeoff and landing. Tilt rotors, for example, allow for efficiency in forward flight at longer distances, while multirotors are designed to reduce noise in hover flight. Most important, these vehicles are designed to offer faster commutes than traditional modes of transit for individuals, especially in traffic-clogged cities.

- Reimagining human flight requires vehicles that are “road legal” and safe to fly, but also a public willing to fly in them. Industry leaders need to convince riders that VTOLs aren’t compelling simply because the technology is possible, but because it is preferable to other modes of transport – and safe. — Fully automated vertical transport with a proven track record may put the public at ease, but a vast network of flying objects creates a host of new challenges. VTOLs will obviate the need for runways or on-the-ground parking, but they will require dedicated air corridors and sky-harbours to store craft. — The “Skyway”, for want of a better term, will need its own set of laws.

- What accounts for the sudden proliferation of VTOL developers? Global trends like the rise of e-commerce, climate change, the gig economy and an integrated supply chain have accelerated interest in personal air travel, while failures in our current infrastructure and related industries underscore its necessity. As cities like New York, Hong Kong and Beijing reach capacity, urban living becomes less and less sustainable – yet our increasingly interconnected economy demands constant mobility. The effects could transform commuting, and living, as we know it.

- Increasing numbers of flying cars will naturally give rise to a changing layout in the way our cities are structured as cities grow taller, rooftop landings expand and air highways connect super sky-scrapers, freeing up space below. Fewer cars on the ground will reduce congestion and may give rise to parks and green spaces. — As soon as 2030, consumers might be able to press a button and order an air taxi straight to their cloud-tethered office. In the decades that follow, we may ultimately have fewer and fewer reasons to descend to the earth below.


M II A II R II K Nov 13, 2020 8:25 PM

Central Florida lands hub for Jetsons-like ‘flying cars’



- The nation’s first regional hub for “flying cars” is being built in central Florida and once completed in five years, the vehicles will be able to take passengers from Orlando to Tampa in a half hour, officials said Wednesday. — The Tavistock Development Corp. said it was constructing a Jetsons-like aviation facility in Orlando’s Lake Nona area, the mixed-use planned community it built. Lake Nona already is home to several medical and research facilities. — The aircraft will be supplied by Lilium, a Germany-based aviation company that manufacturers the industry’s only five-passenger “electric vertical takeoff and landing” aircraft. At the moment, the Lilium Jets can travel up to 185 miles (nearly 300 kilometers) on a one-hour charge.

- Passengers wanting a ride on the aircraft will be able to book reservations via their phones in a way similar to ride-share companies Uber and Lyft, officials said. The vehicles flying and landing out of the Lake Nona Vertiport will accommodate four passengers and a pilot. The cost will be similar to a first-class fare, though the price will likely go down as the service becomes more popular, officials said. Unlike airplanes and helicopters, the vehicles offer quick point-to-point personal travel, at least in principle. They could do away with the hassle of airports and traffic jams. — Experts compare the buzz over flying cars to the days when the aviation industry got started with the Wright brothers and the auto industry with the Ford Model T.


canucklehead2 Nov 17, 2020 10:33 PM

Not too different from the fly-in, fly-out communities developed in the 1950's-1970's... I can't wait to see more! Lilium to me seems like the most viable of the projects. 300 km/h, 300 km range... Can't wait!

M II A II R II K Jan 13, 2021 8:45 PM

Cadillac wants to fly people in electric drones



- General Motors shared some futuristic concept vehicles, including a sleek Cadillac passenger drone, on Tuesday in a classic CES move. As part of its Cadillac Halo portfolio, a shiny, silver and black self-driving shuttle, and a matching passenger drone were introduced. Both are just ideas with no production plans yet. — Intended for short flights, Cadillac envisions take-off and landing pads on downtown rooftops for its passenger drone. So you can hop into the drone to catch a meeting across town. — Intended for short flights, Cadillac envisions take-off and landing pads on downtown rooftops for its passenger drone. So you can hop into the drone to catch a meeting across town.


M II A II R II K Jan 16, 2021 6:02 PM

Fiat Chrysler plans to mass produce flying cars by 2023



- Detroit will finally build those flying cars we were promised. On Jan. 12, the electric aviation company Archer announced it is partnering with Fiat Chrysler Automobiles to mass-produce its aircraft starting in 2023. The manufacturing arrangement with one of the world’s largest automakers, ostensibly the first of its kind, promises to presage other electric aviation startups’ attempt to crack the massive market for short-haul electric aviation. Archer, along with rivals such as Joby and Beta, is building a vertical take-off and landing aircraft intended to provide “faster, sustainable, and affordable urban transportation.”

- These electric aircraft straddle the line between airplane and helicopter: Multiple electric rotors allow aircraft to take off or land similar to a helicopter, and rotate for airplane-like horizontal flight. Archer’s vehicle is expected to carry up to four passengers at speeds of 150 mph for 60 miles. Future battery technology could extend that range significantly. “We’re building the world’s first all-electric commercial airline,” claims Brett Adcock, Archer’s co-founder, who sees “incredible demand” for short affordable urban flights between 20 to 100 miles at prices competitive with UberX, about $3 to $6 per passenger mile.

- One of electric aviation’s greatest challenges (beyond safety certification) is mass production. Designing a working prototype is now table stakes in this industry. As Tesla found out, heavy manufacturing at scale can easily bankrupt even the most well-funded companies. To solve this problem, Archer turned to Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA), which produces about 4 million cars per year at its 100 manufacturing facilities and 40 R&D centers. FCA described it as a mutually beneficial arrangement: It gains experience electrifying vehicles (where it lags behind), and Archer gains access to low-cost manufacturing expertise.


M II A II R II K Jan 30, 2021 8:42 PM

English City to Host World-first Electric Flying Car Airport



- British-based start-up Urban-Air Port has partnered with car giant Hyundai Motor to engineer this futuristic airport in order to give everyone a taste of what is to come in the future of air travel. They are calling their new construction the Urban Air Port. The new project will develop a zero-emission infrastructure that will host the next generation of electric and autonomous air vehicles. --- "Cars need roads. Trains need rails. Planes need airports. electric vertical take-off and landing aircraft (eVTOL) will need Urban Air Ports. Over a hundred years ago, the world’s first commercial flight took off, creating the modern connected world. Urban Air Port will improve connectivity across our cities, boost productivity and help the UK to take the lead in a whole new clean global economy," said Ricky Sandhu, founder and chief executive officer of Urban Air Port.



canucklehead2 Feb 1, 2021 4:37 AM

I also believe Lilium signed a deal to built 10 ports in Florida last week as well... Good to see this project move ahead, especially since I think it's the one of the most well designed and financed projects around...,flying%20taxi%20hubs%20called%20'vertiports'&text=The%20air%20taxi%20startup%20Lilium,of%20the%20flying%2Dtaxi%20hubs.

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