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The Moller Flying Car

  1. Apr 10, 2004 #1

    Ivan Seeking

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    I have been following this guy for about as long as I can remeber. I told an aerospace engineering friend about Moller's claims and he started to laugh. What do you think? Is Moller going to pull this off, is he overreaching, or is this a scam? He is now taking orders. I saw a TV news report that he received an FAA license

    http://www.usatoday.com/money/2004-03-30-skycar_x.htm

    See also Moller's web site:
    http://www.moller.com/

    [​IMG]
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 10, 2004 #2

    chroot

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    The SkyCar kicks ASS. I think it'll work -- but it'll be too expensive for us peons to buy. They cost even more than a normal airplane, if I remember probably.

    - Warren
     
  4. Apr 10, 2004 #3
    And if mass produced it will certainly make the inventor a very, very rich man
     
  5. Apr 10, 2004 #4
    I've been watching him for a while too, and think it is a great idea and concept, but his vision seems so far away from reality right now... The trafficrules in the sky would be so complex and detailed, that it appears impossible for any organisation to manage them... And even harder to program them into an autonomous flying machine... Maybe for a single country, some rules could be stated, but if the rules change in the neighboring country ( which, due to lack of political will, is likely ) the machine needs to know those rules too... I can't imagine how this system will work, considering how big differences you see everywhere... The governments of the world isn't ready for such a challenge... IMHO...
    That said, I love the idea of flying cars, and I'm certain that is our future... But not yet, unfortunately. I also think Dr Mollers car looks great, and will work well some day, but our world isn't ready yet...
    That is how I feel about it, until I get some info that leads me to another conclusion...

    Beste regards

    Thomas Hansen
     
  6. Aug 12, 2004 #5
    Actually. Airborne conflict resolution isn't nearly as hard as we make it seem. Moller is most surely an aviation visionary, but he is not an ATC or avionics visionary. The RTCA, EuroControl, and other organizations have done a great deal of work on what is now known as "Airborne Conflict Resolution" but was once known as "Free Flight".

    It boils down putting colored bands on the flightdeck instrumentation -- letting the pilot know what speeds, headings, altitudes, rate-of-climb, etc are problematic and which are conflict-free. This is easily accomplished using GPS, a glorified walkie-talkie, and some very modest computing power. Far cheaper, safer, faster, and more efficient than the current ATC system, but -- alas -- changing the system was difficult enough *before* 9/11. Now it is seemingly impossible.

    But all that is a digression. :) What I really want to say is that preventing conflicts is easy as long as you do *not* use "rules of the road" based on terrestial notions such as, well..... roads. The last thing you want to do is confine the traffic to fixed "airways" which has the effect of a) greatly increasing the liklihood of conflict vs. utilizing the entire sky, b) significantly reducing the maneuvering options, and c) requiring aircraft which have maneuvered (perhaps to avoid a traffic conflict or weather) out of the "airway" to re-enter it rather than simply continuing to their destination from wherever it is they happen to find themselves. In short, airways greatly increase (not decrease) the complexity of the conflict resolution problem and the difficulty of solving it.

    Martin.
     
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2004
  7. Aug 12, 2004 #6
    Do you guys own cars? :) Have you seen *how many* horrible drivers are on our roads these days? Do you really want to be a mile in the sky with those drivers?
     
  8. Aug 12, 2004 #7

    Ivan Seeking

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    http://www.nasaexplores.com/show2_articlea.php?id=01-003

    Also, I predict that flying cars will come soon, but Moller's car will never see practical use except for the extremely wealthy. This is the sad fact that struck me about Moller: His is not the correct approach to make this happen. Other more practical efforts are under way.
     
  9. Aug 14, 2004 #8

    Ivan Seeking

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  10. Aug 16, 2004 #9
    Why must I be taunted by such things. By the time I ever see a flying car in action I'll be 50 and it will only be affordable to very rich people.
     
  11. Aug 16, 2004 #10

    LURCH

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    I don't think it will ever happen. The idea is to taek off vertically from your driveway, but that would mean the sound of a helicopter or a Herrier "jump jet" every time the nieghbors pull out of their garage. It would also mean uncontrolled air traffic, and you know the Govrnment can't allow that, the death toll would be enormous! So if ti ever goes into mass production/use, it will be restrited to airpoerts, making it another (very expensive) private aircraft, with no advantages that I can see over those currently in use.

    I think the Aerocar is a much more utilitarian idea.
     
  12. Aug 17, 2004 #11

    Ivan Seeking

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    No one expects this to happen with operator controlled crafts. As quoted from the NASA info link, this will all be automated. Also, some more practical approaches such as the NASA tailfan utilize a short, horizontal take off. This concept might work even without a VTO scheme.

    There is a neighborhood near Folsom Ca that accommodates the use of private aircraft. The street is a runway. I found it amusing that in order to clear the wings, the mail boxes are only three feet high. Anyway, apparently this neighborhood doubles as a practical private airport.
     
    Last edited: Aug 17, 2004
  13. Aug 19, 2004 #12

    Ivan Seeking

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    http://www.space.com/businesstechnology/pave_techwed_040818.html
     
  14. Aug 20, 2004 #13
    Preventing aging so future technologies can be better appreciated

    If the thought of being 50 concerns you, you may wish to take steps now to slow down your rate of biological aging.
     
  15. Aug 20, 2004 #14

    Integral

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    So whats the problem with being 50? :confused:
     
  16. Aug 20, 2004 #15

    Ivan Seeking

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    You don't remember???

    uh oh. :biggrin:
     
  17. Aug 24, 2004 #16
    The main difficulty with the Moller projects seem to be related to the power to weight ratio of the engines / turbines.
    Yes, the concept will ultimately work, no - it will remain a rich kids toy until price drops V.significantly.
    Other considerations are : "Speed? Range? Oh.. right.. so now there are 50 000 of them and increasing... what about our geopolitical, customs, quarrantine, immigration controls??"
     
  18. Aug 28, 2004 #17

    Ivan Seeking

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    More from NASA

    http://www.rednova.com/news/stories/1/2004/08/28/story001.html
     
  19. Sep 9, 2004 #18

    Moller has envisioned a car that is fully automated. Navigation would be computer controlled, and the computer would communicate to a central air traffic center-like an air traffic control tower. It would recieve information and traffic updates from the central computer system. That would eleminate the accidents.
     
  20. Sep 9, 2004 #19
    I would never say it would eliminate accidents. There is still the possible (probable) computer programming faults, mechanical failures, etc, that can cause accidents.

    Say a car's mechanical system fails while's its a few hundred (or thousand) feet in the air, it falls down and crashes into some building or some other car. Ouch!
     
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