[ExI] flying cars?

spike spike66 at att.net
Fri Jun 24 14:31:02 UTC 2011

-----Original Message-----
From: extropy-chat-bounces at lists.extropy.org
[mailto:extropy-chat-bounces at lists.extropy.org] On Behalf Of Keith Henson
Sent: Thursday, June 23, 2011 8:57 PM
To: ExI chat list
Subject: [ExI] flying cars?

>...It looks like the people who dismissed flying cars in the last few years
might have been a bit hasty.

> An Entirely New Class of Aircraft Arrives

>.Discuss this story at:


Hi Keith, this is cool, but the reason I am not running out to buy stock in
this is that I am pretty sure there are some important overstatements in the
article.  What he has there I think is actually strictly a hovercraft.  I
will predict that every photo you can find of this machine and every video
will have it in ground effect.  We know a hovercraft like that is possible,
but to take that machine out of ground effect likely to be fatal.  Reason:
without variable pitch, there is insufficient control authority to keep it
flying in that configuration out of ground effect.  The center of gravity
and the center of lift are very close together.

Regarding the comment about adding control moment gyros for stability, those
are heavy.  Another approach might be to lower the GC sufficiently by
carrying weight on telescoping rigid rods hanging below the craft, perhaps
containing fuel.  It will need plenty of that.  Alternately, suspending the
ducted fans above the rider.  A San Jose company has been working on that
approach for some time, using fans a lot like these.

I do not wish to be a nay saying nabob of negativism however.  Something
like this has a terrific application: racing.  I can imagine running a 400
meter oval around cones over a frozen lake bed.  That would be a really fun
sport to watch and would call on a collection of skills not yet invented. 


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