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Take that, flying cars that don't!
August 2, 2010 2:07 AM   Subscribe

I got you this delicious flying car [YT]

Some outfit called ITEC seems to have built a street legal flying car that doesn't suck.
posted by mhjb (44 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite

 
Maybe it doesn't suck, but it still isn't close to the original concept.
posted by twoleftfeet at 2:23 AM on August 2, 2010


I wish they'd shown the transition between driving and flying (vice versa). I suspect that it takes a significant amount of time to switch between the two, and a large amount of effort.
posted by djgh at 2:30 AM on August 2, 2010


That seems completely impractical. How is that not a death trap?
posted by IvoShandor at 2:32 AM on August 2, 2010


What's its altitude? Possible to combine this sport with skeet shooting?

Pull!
posted by pracowity at 2:32 AM on August 2, 2010


If only it weren't specifically designed to help missionaries to go out and tame the savages.
posted by holterbarbour at 2:34 AM on August 2, 2010 [5 favorites]


Here's the transition.

While this is kinda, sorta, I guess, technically a flying car, I wish they'd undersell it a bit. There's nothing more disappointing than getting your head filled with visions of blade runner and back to the future when you hear someone say "We've built a flying car!" only to find out that it's a folding plane or a flying parachute.
posted by stavrogin at 2:40 AM on August 2, 2010


Why are most of the Related Videos CGI Barbie rips?
posted by Ian A.T. at 2:47 AM on August 2, 2010


visions of blade runner and back to the future

Maybe it doesn't suck, but it still isn't close to the original concept.

Sorry to make the same comment twice. Google Image Search has just become way more fun during the last week.
posted by twoleftfeet at 2:49 AM on August 2, 2010


So let me this straight: you want CARS - the most greenhouse-gas-belching pieces of machinery that humankind has ever tried to kill itself with - to FLY UP IN THE SKY, where their exhaust particulates can more easily distribute around the very atmosphere that is currently struggling with a Carbon Dioxide overdose?

This is just the kind of consequence-blind techno-frottage that is endemic to American society today.

Surely it would be a LOT more future-perfect if you geeks invented a zero-emission flying vehicle - say, a flying bicycle. You know - like in E.T.? Like, the most famous movie ever of your childhood? Like, the movie that made you wet your little nerd-panties in fear when E.T. got sick and you thought he was going to die and your Mom had to take you out of the theatre before the end of the film and go out and buy you some new pants because yours were all stained with urine and you wouldn't stop crying? Like, and then when you got home your sister teased you about it mercilessly for the next ten years and called you "little pansy piss pants" in front of all her friends, and even when you were sixteen and wanted to ask Julie Borkowski to the prom, your sister told her about it and she went with Brad Funklo instead? Like, and then you swore that one day you'd invent a flying car and fly it all around the sky and when your sister's friends were all together they'd look up and they'd say to her, "hey Stacie, isn't that your brother in a flying car?" and then you'd hover over them and pull down your pants and piss right on her stupid fat goddam head?

Do you actually remember that? DO YOU?!?
posted by the quidnunc kid at 2:56 AM on August 2, 2010 [5 favorites]


twoleftfeet, I was saying that it isn't like those flying cars.

Being an adult in the modern age seems to mean spending an inordinate amount of time being disappointed at the flying car's stubborn refusal to exist. I suppose it's better than worrying about polio or lions, but also much, much stupider.
posted by stavrogin at 3:00 AM on August 2, 2010


Do you actually remember that? DO YOU?!?

Nope. But I suspect you do.

Metafilter: Consequence-blind techno-frottage/the most greenhouse-gas-belching piece of machinery that humankind has ever tried to kill itself with.

Take your pick, couldn't resist.

posted by IvoShandor at 3:14 AM on August 2, 2010


Being an adult in the modern age seems to mean spending an inordinate amount of time being disappointed at the flying car's stubborn refusal to exist.

That's a 20th century modern age. Take two "modern" wonders - the automobile and the airplane - and combine them to get a vision of people commuting to work through the air. But we're already living in an even stranger future, where people do work by sending emails to people on the other side of the planet. I fly around the world every day within the safety and comfort of my web browser. My flying car already exists.
posted by twoleftfeet at 3:27 AM on August 2, 2010 [3 favorites]


The airplane isn't very close to the original concept, either.
I hardly think that's a valid reason to complain.
It looks pretty cool. It has a terrific suspension system.
But the world doesn't need more recreational gas engines.
posted by MtDewd at 3:41 AM on August 2, 2010


So let me this straight: you want CARS - to FLY UP IN THE SKY

THAT IS CORRECT
posted by Sutekh at 3:53 AM on August 2, 2010 [4 favorites]


techno-frottage

Isn't that what French robots order on pizza? Oh wait, techno-fromage.
posted by DU at 4:29 AM on August 2, 2010


So let me this straight: you want CARS - the most greenhouse-gas-belching pieces of machinery that humankind has ever tried to kill itself with - to FLY UP IN THE SKY

I would be okay with a flying car powered entirely by indignant outrage, since it exists in nature in no short supply. Failing that, an electric one would be good.

Stupid flying cars. Yet another mode of transport that goes straight from my adolescent daydreams to establishing my assholery without even stopping to let me ride it once.
posted by vanar sena at 4:39 AM on August 2, 2010


How is that not a death trap?

It does look awfully like an early 20th century hearse, doesn't it, especially in the video stavrogin posted above. I bet you can be buried in one as well.
posted by daniel_charms at 5:07 AM on August 2, 2010


The simpleton pagan natives WILL BE STUNNED INTO SUBSERVIENCE when the missionaries come swooping in in their flying cars! Where do I send my tithe?
posted by Daddy-O at 5:18 AM on August 2, 2010


This isn't really a flying car; it's an ultralight aircraft with some ATV functionality. That's clever, but there's a lot that's getting glossed over--deployment of the wing, how much runway you need to take off and land, etc. Any real "flying car" has to have the potential to be used in an urban environment, not out in the middle of nowhere. And how does this thing function in anything other than a perfect sunny day without too much wind? Back to the drawing board, boffins.
posted by Halloween Jack at 5:30 AM on August 2, 2010


Great stuff! and thanks for the link! I was worried about where to find a complete listing of Barbie HD video on YT!

Seriously, I'll throw my hat over the wall and submit to the scientist, foot, diddling, and all for you people. Show some gratitude.
posted by Samizdata at 5:55 AM on August 2, 2010


One question - That's the Maverick Sport...

For my active lifestyle, I need an SUV, or better yet, a jumbo truck version. Where are those, eh?
posted by Samizdata at 5:59 AM on August 2, 2010


This sucks.

because I can't have one
posted by eriko at 6:01 AM on August 2, 2010


Any real "flying car" has to have the potential to be used in an urban environment, not out in the middle of nowhere.

I'm sure this thing can take off on a proper runway, but the whole idea of driving along the I-95 and just taking off over the logjam of cars thing isn't ever going to happen, because you can't have flying machines in that proximity to one another without someone directing them on where to go, otherwise it'll be crash city.
posted by Hiker at 6:20 AM on August 2, 2010


Huh. I just saw one of these the other day on the interstate, of all places. It wasn't flying, but the prop on the back sort of got my attention. Wondered what the hell it was.
posted by jquinby at 6:39 AM on August 2, 2010


Buncha haters on this thread. This thing is awesome and I want one and that's all.
posted by zardoz at 6:51 AM on August 2, 2010


When pushing for a perfect solution, there are obviously going to be some intermediate steps. This looks like it's going in the right direction.
posted by rmmcclay at 7:20 AM on August 2, 2010


You gotta start somewhere, right? I mean the Wright brothers' first aircraft flew maybe 11 seconds or something like that.

Impractical currently? Yes, but once you get consumer demand up there and this becomes a profitable industry, practicality will find it's way pretty quickly!

When the first cars were invented, there were no wide roads or traffic lights or gas stations on every second corner.

If society can invent an affordable, manageable flying car, first the recreational enthusiasts will flock to the small airports to fly them on the weekend. Then more and more people living far from their place of work will use the airports on a daily basis to get to work. Eventually, someone will invent a flying car with helicopter-like rotors allowing the car to pretty much take off from where it is (without the need to pick up horizontal speed like an airplane).

Then some Hollywood yuk yuk will arrive at some awards gala from the sky in his/her souped up helicar. Then it will become mainstream in movies and TV. And then everyone who does whatever the stars do will get their own helicar.

And then, the gas companies and the industry giants who have a hand in the production and distribution of these helicars will lobby the governments to create the infrastructure.

The governments will see the opportunity for a cash grab and create a $5000 tax for the purchase of these vehicles. Some people will complain, but most people will pay it, because it's a freaking flying car!

Then everyone with their own business who will pretty much expense the car on their income tax will buy one.

Infrastructure? Not that complicated - drivers will be required to get a pilot's license. Governments will be required to designate authorized take-off and landing areas. Soon private companies can manage and charge for the use of their property to take off and land.

Challenges? Patrolling the skies. How do you catch speeders? Set up roadblocks? Can you imagine some drunk moron flying his/her vehicle into a building or falling from the sky? You would have to establish no fly zones and altitude limits and use mandatory GPS to automatically fine offenders.

Lot's of money coming in for everyone.

Yeah, you're right, the evironment will probably get screwed even more. And we still won't solve world hunger.
posted by bitteroldman at 7:21 AM on August 2, 2010


Being an adult in the modern age seems to mean spending an inordinate amount of time being disappointed at the flying car's stubborn refusal to exist.

Not anymore it doesn't!
posted by emperor.seamus at 8:15 AM on August 2, 2010


you want CARS to FLY UP IN THE SKY

I want CARS to FLY UP IN THE SKY and I also want them to immediately transition from FLYING UP IN THE SKY to SWIMMING UNDER THE SEA like the Flying Sub from VTTBOTS did, and I **ALSO** want to have a spinning screw thing on the front so that I can be FLYING IN THE SKY in my CAR and point it straight down at the ground and instead of CRASHING AND DYING have it turn into a HIGHLY FUNCTIONAL MOLE MACHINE. Also it should have LIQUOR STORAGE and be able to provide ORAL SEX, and it should be SENTIENT and occasionally BERSERK.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 8:26 AM on August 2, 2010 [7 favorites]


Pshaw. This isn't a flying car--this is a powered paraglider. Not even close to the same thing, and it's been around for awhile.
posted by monju_bosatsu at 8:41 AM on August 2, 2010


Chitty chitty bang bang
posted by anshuman at 8:49 AM on August 2, 2010


I thought I'd go through my whole life without seeing "mole", "berserk", and "oral sex" in the same paragraph.
posted by me & my monkey at 9:20 AM on August 2, 2010 [1 favorite]


You left out "sentient."
posted by warbaby at 9:52 AM on August 2, 2010


This strikes me as pretty similar to the current state of jetpacks.

People who fantasize about flying cars and/or jetpacks: fashionably geeky.

People who actually build flying cars and/or jetpacks: scary, obsessive rednecks.
posted by gurple at 10:16 AM on August 2, 2010


This is cooler looking. Did I mention it was successfully flown by British adventurer Neil Laughton 9,000km from London to Timbuktu in 2009?
posted by MuffinMan at 10:47 AM on August 2, 2010


you can't have flying machines in that proximity to one another without someone directing them on where to go, otherwise it'll be crash city.

Of course, Hiker. I wasn't even going to go into the whole thing of trying to direct three-dimensional traffic of the sort that any city sees when so many people seem to have problems with 2D traffic. And I wasn't really expecting VTOL capability (although I really wonder how it would function, if it needs a runway of any size at all, in the rugged bush country that they're talking about using this thing in). I was really looking for some solid FAQs, not goofy giddy nonsense like "If you can drive it, you can fly it!" (HA HA HA HA better go get my shovel for the clean-up). Things like, how much take-off distance does it need, ditto for landing, and do they have some plan for making that as short as possible? I'm not talking about bumper-to-bumper interstate, I'm wondering if a driveway of any non-country length would do. It's not much of a flying car in my book if the last step in deployment is "Redesign every city in the country."
posted by Halloween Jack at 11:14 AM on August 2, 2010


YEA MORONS I AM ONE OF US TWO! !!
posted by Mike Mongo at 11:17 AM on August 2, 2010


Is this the result of Fan Man having sex with a dune buggy?
posted by Sys Rq at 12:23 PM on August 2, 2010


Why the hell are they billing this as an LSA? If I remember correctly, motorized parachutes like that don't even need to be registered. Why go through all that trouble?

Maybe I'm not creative enough, but I really don't see the utility of a lot of these kinds of things.
posted by backseatpilot at 12:44 PM on August 2, 2010


If society can invent an affordable, manageable flying car, first the recreational enthusiasts will flock to the small airports to fly them on the weekend. Then more and more people living far from their place of work will use the airports on a daily basis to get to work. Eventually, someone will invent a flying car with helicopter-like rotors allowing the car to pretty much take off from where it is (without the need to pick up horizontal speed like an airplane).

You're talking about the difference between this and this.

One is an airplane that folds its wings, and can't really be called a "car" by any practical interpretation.

The other is the sort of car-sized VTOL aircraft we've been dreaming of, and which is still in development. Although it's interesting to see that the Moller skycar design has sprouted some foldable wings. Perhaps a hybrid design is key.

One of the big obstacles is fuel. VTOL flight based on pure downward thrust is difficult because it's extremely inefficient. Even a military jet like the Harrier or F-35B can't hang around in VTOL mode for very long, because it will quickly burn off all its fuel. Something the size of a car has even less room to carry fuel, so it's even more difficult to get it take off vertically and keep it in the air long enough to go anywhere.

In this endeavor, weight is critical, so any form of fuel must also not be so heavy the aircraft can't lift it, along with the airframe and passengers.

What we really need is Mr. Fusion.

This is to say nothing of the regulatory hurdles that come with the territory.
posted by Fleebnork at 3:09 PM on August 2, 2010


You guys are right, this sucks. All those imaginary vehicles you're harping on about are much cooler than this DUNE BUGGY THAT FREAKIN FLIES IN FREAKIN REAL LIFE!
posted by mhjb at 4:22 PM on August 2, 2010


This sucks on so many levels. I don't want a flying car - I just want the last 5 minutes of my life back.
posted by ericbop at 6:29 PM on August 2, 2010


You guys are right, this sucks. All those imaginary vehicles you're harping on about are much cooler than this DUNE BUGGY THAT FREAKIN FLIES IN FREAKIN REAL LIFE!

Do you really find it that amazing? They haven't discovered some secret of flight that we didn't already know about. It's a slightly larger ultralight frame with a suspension. However, with that ride height and those wheels. it's not going to be giving any real dune buggies a run for their money.

They've been building things like this for almost as long as we've had airplanes.
posted by Fleebnork at 9:12 PM on August 2, 2010


I bet you can be buried in one as well.

Or crushed to death in one. That thing would explode if it got hit by a tin can.
posted by IvoShandor at 2:55 AM on August 3, 2010


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