wumpus wrote:I'd probably look at Elon Musk's decision that electric cars are going to be expensive for awhile, so try to compete with Porsche buyers instead of Prius buyers. If I was trying to not only build flying cars, but simultaneously build a startup that makes flying cars I would ponder why cars that cost more than airplanes seem to outsell airplanes. I suspect that it is mostly because you can show off such a car by just driving it (the other is time&money: choose at most one). People only see you and your aircraft at airports (who likely already have a plane...). Sell the most dramatic entrance and you will have a backlog of orders well until you are officially "started up".
Yet another reason to have something you can take to a public function (necessitating VTOL) rather than being restricted to airstrips, something small enough to fit into one or two parking spaces, small enough to navigate on a roadway. And something that doesn't look just like a crumpled-up plane. Two-seat capacity is nice too.
This guy has the right idea:
This concept uses folding wings and four fold-out vertical-lift rotors, but it's really long, too long to effectively navigate in an urban environment."For me, it has to be vertical take-off and landing," said Daniel Lubrich, the managing director of Krossblade Aerospace Systems. "I think this idea of an aircraft you can drive on the street but you still have to find an airport for is nice, but it doesn't really solve the problem."
SkyCruiser is a concept 5-seat hybrid VTOL transformer airplane with road-drive ability. VTOL, vertical take off and landing, enables a traveler to travel directly from point A to point B, instead of going from point A to an airport in a car say, then fly from the airport to another airport, and then drive with a car from the other airport to point B. Rather than spending 3 to 4 hours going from LA to San Francisco, for example, SkyCruiser takes you directly to your destination, point to point, in just a little over 1 hour.
wumpus wrote:Note that medivac can likely get away with STOL (assuming the hospital can build whatever they need and that the medivac and takeoff and land on a road). The thing to remember is that a helicopter fights the air every inch of the way while an airplane tends to ride the air. For less dense areas, gaining speed from using wings (let alone the relative safety of planes vs. helicopters) would make them more cost effective (after startup costs. The startup costs are likely the killers, thus my notes above on building high-cost flying cars).
Eh, Medivac can't always get away with STOL. In fact, I would say STOL is the exception rather than the rule. Real estate is limited, especially in urban environments. And you may not always be able to clear enough road space for STOL; powerlines and buildings really complicate STOL but VTOL less so.
It seems like a basic rule: achieving energy-efficient (i.e., sustainable) lift of any kind requires a large area of air against which to push (whether rotor or wing), which clashes nastily with anything that can fit in a parking space.
ucim wrote:Sounds good, but it's because that's a "money is no object" kind of application. And even so, money is an object. Is it better to have one flying car, or six ordinary police/emergency helicopters?stoppedcaring wrote:Certainly, something like this would start out as a police/emergency responder sort of thing...
It's more "time is of the essence" than "money is no object".