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Flying For The Masses?

  1. Jul 15, 2010 #1
    Well I'm sure we've all heard of all these people who want to bring "flying for the masses", using these sorts of contraptions:
    I haven't finished getting my licence yet, but I still have a fairly good understanding of what it takes to fly. The people who make these machines say they want to bring "flying to the people" where everyone is capable of owning an airplane as easily as a car. When I see these sorts of people, I can't help but think that these people are absolutely silly.

    I go to this train of thought: think about every idiot you've ever seen on the road. The sorts of people who cut people off, drive on the sidewalk, don't pay attention, or just can't drive. Now put those people in control of an aircraft. There is a massive difference between flying and driving. Operating a car is relatively simple. You go left or right, forwards or backwards. If something goes wrong you can usually pull over. While flying you need to focus on a wide variety of tasks at the same time, all in three dimensions. If you get lazy gravity isn't forgiving.

    I just don't see giving everybody the ability to fly ending well. There are tons of accidents that occur already, and most of the people involved in those are people who (at least in my interpretation) are fairly on the ball. Letting "everyone" fly is just asking for trouble.

    Also, the aircraft they are proposing to use...well they've been approved, so they must fly. But how well do they fly? It doesn't really look like you'd get the best performance out of them. Plus like some ultralights, they likely wouldn't glide well. I've seen some ultralights that lost their engine, and quite literally dropped right out of the sky. The ability to glide gives you the ability to get your aircraft to ground in a somewhat controlled manner. These aircraft just seem a bit sketchy to me.

    That's just my opinion. What do you guys think?
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 15, 2010 #2


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    Unless I've been misinformed, you still have to take off and land at an airport. That should put a pretty hard limit on the number of people in the sky at any given time
  4. Jul 15, 2010 #3
    Very valid considerations, Lancelot59, the variety of mishaps possible in the air, exceeds human imagination and every year, new variaties show up; And Office_Shredder, in some parts in the states, many farmers have an grass strip behind the barn, suitable for take off and landing of slow movers.
  5. Jul 15, 2010 #4
    As interesting as it is to build one of these things, I see it as a useless venture. It quite literally fall into a merely adequate airplane and a merely adequate car... That costs over 200 thousand dollars. Not to mention the amount of maintenance required to keep it FAA certified. It will never be more than a novelty. Now personal submarines, that is a tech that needs to be further exploited. :silly:
  6. Jul 15, 2010 #5
    Don't hold your breath
  7. Jul 15, 2010 #6
    What's stopping all those idiots on the road from getting a pilot license now?

    The same thing that should stop them from being able to operate a flying car.
  8. Jul 15, 2010 #7
    I'm one of those people who reads the safety letters Transport Canada sends out each month. Almost half of the booklet is some of the more interesting accident reports. It's everything from crazy weather, to human error, to strange mechanical failures.

    I'm not sure just how well these things would perform as STOL aircraft, but then again I might be underestimating how long this strip is.

    LOL pun.

    Well the way logic works said idiots shouldn't have gotten their drivers licences in the first place. I don't know Americans have something similar, but on Discovery Canada we have a show called Canada's Worst Driver. It amazes me that the people who are on that show actually got licences in the first place. Well probably because they only had to drive well once, for an hour.

    Current pilot training washes out people who can't fly because the instructors are for the most part take their job quite seriously, and you have to build that skill from the ground up (pun). If you can't hack it you don't progress. It's not just one 60 minute test, you spend at least two months with the instructor. There's a minimum amount of training time you need before you can get your licence. But I see in the future people starting to slip through the cracks if flying becomes a common activity.
  9. Jul 15, 2010 #8
    You should look at the requirments to get a licence in Germany. 80% of the driving population in the US would be knocked out right off.
  10. Jul 16, 2010 #9
    Pretty much.

    This is the video of the trike I was referring to. The engine died. I saw it on Destroyed In Seconds. I looked around but couldn't find a better copy:

    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 25, 2014
  11. Jul 16, 2010 #10
    Which is why there could never be an autobahn in the US. I don't need a third dimension and five times higher velocity for the texters around me.
  12. Jul 17, 2010 #11
    I found this:
  13. Jul 17, 2010 #12
    Nothing in the theory can learn you flying and even if you're highly skilled in the mechanics of flying, two other things are more important still: airmanship and situational awareness. That's what seperates the men/women from the boys/girls.

    About that crash

    The main reason of the quick loss of hight was that the pilot tightened the turn upon the engine failure, hence increasing the induced drag, causing the instantaneous loss of airspeed and anything without airspeed has the aerodynamic properties of a brick. The pilot should have leveled the wings and establish a glide.

    Poor airmanship.
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 25, 2014
  14. Jul 17, 2010 #13
    I guess, looking at it again.
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