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Too long since the last flying car post.
November 30, 2007 2:23 PM   Subscribe

A newer, slightly more plausible flying car project. Some people take it more seriously than the king of vaporware skycars, whose designers are now working on a vaporware landspeeder(PDF). If you want something more available, keep your car and check out the Cessna SkyCatcher, no assembly required.
posted by StrikeTheViol (29 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

 
The first link quotes the engineer talking about "no traffic jams, no red lights"; but that only applies if you're the only person flying around.

As soon as something like this becomes more than theoretical, piles of laws will spring up to prevent it from becoming a free-for-all. After all, there's a reason why air traffic controllers and the infrastructure to track planes exists: it's to keep them from colliding and killing people.
posted by davejay at 2:30 PM on November 30, 2007


Wouldn't want to be rear-ended (or worse!) while driving one of those things home from the airport.
posted by Ricky_gr10 at 2:43 PM on November 30, 2007


They're still planes, and still have to take off, land and follow instructions of air traffic controllers. You just get to drive home directly from the airport.
posted by MythMaker at 2:49 PM on November 30, 2007


Look at the stupid things "licensed" people in a metal conveyance do with two very limited dimensions.

Now add a third, and imagine them criss-crossing right over your bedroom.
posted by CynicalKnight at 2:50 PM on November 30, 2007


OK great. Now is someone working on the whole "moving sidewalks" thing?
posted by wfc123 at 2:53 PM on November 30, 2007


From the FAQ: It is also illegal in most states (emergency landings excluded).

I want to know what states it isn't illegal in.

So I can move there.
posted by cedar at 2:55 PM on November 30, 2007


Pff... my middle school flying car drawings look WAAY cooler than that plane with 4 wheels and foldable wings.
posted by blastrid at 3:00 PM on November 30, 2007


How on earth can you respect a project that uses the 'word' "roadable".

Gah.

I'd also like to see how they figure that, while in car form with the wings folded along the side, while it will be susceptible to side gusts (with you so far...) it will somehow 'self correct'. Hmmmmm. How, exactly? Wind produces a side load and what? Load sensors change the steering wheel angle?

Not convinced...
posted by Brockles at 3:12 PM on November 30, 2007


okay, the apparent real selling points of the Cessna Skycatcher is the "sportyness", advanced instrumentation, and affordability. WTBH does "affordable" translate into here? $10k? $50k?
posted by Parannoyed at 3:14 PM on November 30, 2007


piles of laws will spring up to prevent it from becoming a free-for-all

But until then, it's the Wild-West up there. Sky piracy is the way of the future; taking a Focke-Wulf-wagen up against a National-Trust zeppelin to loot is stores of gold? Not only is it lucrative, it's some of the most fun you can have!

Just make sure you get clear before the Sky Marshals show up. They have no sense of humor, and the cannons in their wings are very effective.
posted by quin at 3:32 PM on November 30, 2007


Skycatchers run $109,000 and up...not so bad, for a plane.
posted by StrikeTheViol at 3:39 PM on November 30, 2007


Those wings make for some awesome blind spots, and with no drivers side and passenger side mirrors you just know this thing is street legal.
posted by furtive at 3:42 PM on November 30, 2007


The Skycatcher is one of the new "light sport aircraft". It requires a sport pilot's license, which is easier to obtain than a regular license but limits your activities in the sky. These LSAs are meant to be like weekend hobby cars - you go up, circle around a bit, come back. No cross-country flying, no trip planning, no using it as a "real" method of transportation, basically.
posted by backseatpilot at 3:47 PM on November 30, 2007


For reference, that $109,000 is about half the price of the next model in Cessna's line. 25-30yo Cessna 152's (what used to be the 'starter' model in their line) look to be averaging about $30,000 in the airplane classifieds I checked...
posted by pupdog at 3:51 PM on November 30, 2007


Skycatchers run $109,000 and up...not so bad, for a plane.

Used planes can get down to $50k or so, from what I understand.

Those wings make for some awesome blind spots, and with no drivers side and passenger side mirrors you just know this thing is street legal.

You mean street illegal? Also, they address that in the FAQ. They said they were going to add cameras
posted by delmoi at 3:53 PM on November 30, 2007


OK great. Now is someone working on the whole "moving sidewalks" thing?

That's how I get to baggage claim.
posted by itchylick at 4:05 PM on November 30, 2007


Bah! I'll wait for the Fantasticar, Stretcho.
posted by Scoo at 4:32 PM on November 30, 2007


I see zero market, even tiny airports have rental car agencies, and a Cessna won't get smashed up on the road.

btw, Very rich people already have VTOL flying cars called Helicopter taxis.
posted by jeffburdges at 4:49 PM on November 30, 2007


If it isn't gravity-repellent, I'm uninterested.

So instead of falling for the "automoplane," I will wait for the real thing, thank you very much.

File this under under-achiever.
posted by humannaire at 6:05 PM on November 30, 2007


This is why America is beautiful.


And ridiculous.
posted by recurve at 6:24 PM on November 30, 2007


Now is someone working on the whole "moving sidewalks" thing?

Imagine, if you will, a sky car standing on a moveable sidewalk. The sky car moves in one direction, while the sidewalk moves in the opposite. This sidewalk has a control system that tracks the sky car speed and tunes the speed of the sidewalk to be exactly the same (but in the opposite direction) ...
posted by Wolof at 7:03 PM on November 30, 2007 [3 favorites]


I'm cool with them.
As long as they're not allowed to fly over my house.
posted by notreally at 7:12 PM on November 30, 2007


OK great. Now is someone working on the whole "moving sidewalks" thing?

"Jane! Get me off this crazy thing!"
posted by not_on_display at 7:31 PM on November 30, 2007 [1 favorite]


I'm trying to figure out why the extra five minutes that it takes to walk from your hangar to a waiting car justifies making an incredibly dangerous and impractical plane/car hybrid.

It just strikes me as a solution in search of a problem.
posted by Avenger at 9:00 PM on November 30, 2007


wolof is funny.
posted by aquanaut at 9:24 PM on November 30, 2007


Awesome, I'm sure no one will mind when I'm taking up three lanes in drive mode
posted by poppo at 5:10 AM on December 1, 2007


Hey! You know it's only a matter of years decades ??? that the Highway-in-the-Sky system will be perfected and built! And then all our automoplanes will be running on autopilot, ferrying us across the urban sky-scape. You know, as soon as someone invests the hundreds of billions of dollars that it would take to make a finicky, invisible interstate highway system based on gps, elevation sensors, entirely new parking facilities, hopes, elevated refueling stations, and prayers. I can't wait!
posted by cthuljew at 5:41 AM on December 1, 2007


Also don't worry there's probably oil on the moon or something. Everything is going to keep getting better!
posted by Citizen Premier at 1:11 PM on December 1, 2007 [1 favorite]


For the last time, people: google 'canard aircraft'. It's the closest thing to a skycar that we're going to get in our lifetimes, and as an added bonus, there's a large community devoted to DIY and homemade canards.
posted by eclectist at 6:12 PM on December 1, 2007


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