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Flying Cars
or PAV's

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Flying Cars or Personal Air Vehicles (PAV's)

Flying Cars, some times known as Personal Air Vehicles are the ultimate machines for attracting a wide range of eccentrics chasing this particular rainbow. Maybe I am showing my true colors here or maybe the PAV's time is approaching.

The Flying Car Concept

The idea of the flying car is that you could park your flying machine in your garage or outside your house with the wings folded, just like your existing automobile. The main difference is that you jump in and off you go. No roads to deal with as the PAV can move in three dimensions so you avoid all traffic and can go directly as the "crow flys" to your destination, just like the Jetsons.

All this is to ignore two key stumbling blocks:

1. The Flying Car does not exist.
2. Flying an aircraft is a lot harder than driving a car.

Many people have come up with a huge and imaginative array of Flying Car designs, none of which have made a mark in the market.

A basic pilot's license requires a huge number of hours of instruction and even that training only enables you to fly in good weather and empty airspace. Obtaining a full instrument rating that enables a pilot to operate in low visibility and in highly congested skies, is a much bigger undertaking.

The proposed solution to the need for high levels of training preventing mass market adoption of the flying car is a technological solution. An advanced autopilot and instrumentation system is envisioned that takes over the details of flying the vehicle, so called "synthetic vision".

In this way, a pilot in cloud or fog never has to learn how to fly the aircraft manually or without visual cues using a selection of counterintuitive dials all the while being directed through very busy air traffic lanes, some moving at 500 mph, by a human ground controller over a voice radio channel. 

"Synthetic vision" systems imagine a display showing the terrain below, other aircraft in the sky and virtual skyways in the sky to follow just like roads on the ground. The pilot or even the PAV would fly itself down these skyways and might even land itself automatically.

The big hurdles

  • Autopilot and glass-cockpit equipment like this does exist today, the problem being is that it is massive and it is very expensive...
  • An automated air-traffic infrastructure which would let hundreds of thousands of PAVs fly about simultaneously above large cities and in bad weather is nowhere close to reality...

The Pace of Development

NASA's Small Aircraft Transportation System (SATS) is still very much in the conceptual stage but did get as far as a proof of concept in 2005...  

The pace of development in Electric Drive and Computing power might change all this in the very near future. Electric Drive allows extremely fine motor control and low cost computing power now allows for most modern automobiles to have in car navigation at very low price points.

Combine these two technologies and suddenly the concept of the Flying Car is not as crazy as it sounds...

I suspect the key to getting air mobility is not to take too huge a leap forwards by trying to make a flying car in one step. If we were to add electric drive to ultra light aircraft to enable Vertical Take Off and Landing (VTOL) and combine that capability with navigation and electronic gyroscopic controls, we make an important step forwards toward the flying car... 

http://cafefoundation.org - The $250,000 annual prize might spur some innovation.

AAV (Autonomous Air Vehicles) to lead the way for road less transport.

Were the real innovation might come from is the AAV (Autonomous Air Vehicle) arena. The idea of a "Roadless" logistics system is being explored by many folks like http://www.matternet.net in Africa using quadcopters, or Lockeed Martin in Afghanistan with airships, Dyna lifter for relief work http://www.dynalifter.com and various others like the http://www.discoveryair.com who are using airships to provide heavy lift in Canada's remote regions.


Flying Cars

http://www.aerobiker.com Aerobiker - Flying Motor Cycle
http://www.aerocarforsale.com Aero Car For Sale
http://www.afaco.com Advanced Flying Automobile
http://www.aerocar.com Aero Car - 1950's Moulton Taylor
http://www.aerocopter.com Aero Copter
http://www.labicheaerospace.com Labiche Aerospace
http://www.flyrider.de Fly Rider
http://www.flying-platform.com Flying Platform
http://www.macroindustries.com Macro Industries  Sky Rider
http://www.moller.com Moller Sky Car
http://www.mundusgroupinc.com Mundus - Roadable Craft
http://www.milnermotors.com Milner Motor - Foldable Electric
http://www.navtol.com North American Vertical Takeoff
Sky Blazer
Hover Bike
http://www.dual-use.com Rapid Regional Travel
http://www.pal-v.com Pal-V - Road and Air Car
http://www.roadabletimes.com Roadables - Flying Car Web Portal
http://www.skywalkervtol.com Sky Walker VTOL
http://www.sparkdesign.nl Spark Design PALV
http://www.strongware.com/dragon/ Strong Dragon
http://www.terrafugia.com Terrafugia MIT Spin out
http://www.trekaero.com Trek Aerospace - Lodi, CA
http://www.urbanaero.com Urban Aero
http://www.volanteaircraft.com Volant Aircraft - The Flying Car
http://www.vtol.org VTOL Society
http://www.wolffaerocycle.com Wolf Aerocycle

Electric Aircraft

http://aeroconversions.com/e-flight/ E-Flight Initiative
http://www.airenergy.de Electric Glider drive
http://www.electraflyer.com Electra Flyer - Electric Ultralight
http://www.falxair.com Falx Air - Hybrid Tilt Rotor
Electric Paraglider
PC Aero - Elektra One - Electric Ultralight
http://www.rctoys.com Dragan Fly - Gyro Stabilized  Helicopter
http://www.sonexaircraft.com Sonex Aircraft - Electric Demo

Light and VTOL Aircraft 

http://www.airscooter.com Air Scooter - Woody Norris
http://www.amvaircraft.com AMV Aircraft - Small VTOL aircraft
http://cafefoundation.org CAFE - PAV Challenge $250,000 Prize
Experimental Aircraft Association
Evol - German UAV lifts a human
Quickie 2 web portal
Quad Slot - RC Quad VTOL aircraft
Paparazzi - UAV Open Source software
http://www.iconaircraft.com ICON Sport Weight Water Plane
http://www.pipistrel.si Pipistrel - Ultra Light / PAV maybe
http://www.pipistrel-usa.com Pipistrel - US Web Site
http://www.rans.com Rans Ultra Lights
http://www.vstol.org VSTOL Historical Society
Ultra Light Flying Magazine
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_VTOL_aircraft Wiki List of VTOL Aircraft
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/XV-5_VertifanXV-5 Vertifan from Ryan

Navigation and Air Traffic Control

National Consortium for Aviation Mobility
Making Virtual Solid - 3D Heads Up Display
http://sats.nasa.gov Small Aircraft Transportation System - NASA

Composites and Propellers

http://www.aerocomposites.com Aero Composites - Propellers
http://www.jbpropellers.com JB Propellers
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/PropellerRepair/ John Ftez Prop Repair
http://www.helix-propeller.de Helix Composite Propellers
http://www.ivoprop.com IVO Propellers
http://www.mahblades.com MAH Blades for UL and RC Helo's
http://www.olympicppg.com Olympic Paragliding
http://www.powerfin.com Powerfin - Manf and developer
http://www.ppgprops.com PPG Props
Tennessee Props
Rotosub - Fan noise cancellation
http://www.ultralightprops.com GSC Systems - Ultralight Props

Home Built's and Powered Chutes

Basic Ultralight Glider
DIY Drones
Flying Foam - CNC cut Wing Cores 
http://www.homebuiltairplanes.com Home Built Forums
http://esotec.co.nz/hb/HTML/HomePage2_F.html Hummingbird VTOL
http://www.tecaeromex.com/ingles/RH-i.htm Rocket Belt
http://www.usppa.org US Powered Paragliding

VTOL and UAV's

http://www.frontlineaerospace.com Frontline Aero - V-STAR UAV
Aura Aero - Excalibur Hybrid VTOL
Association for Unmanned Vehicles
http://www.rotaryeng.net/VTOL.html Rotary Eng - VTOL Design
UAV Web Portal
Turbine lift, prop stabilized RC

Quad Rotors

http://www.asctec.de Ascending Technologies
http://www.aurora.aero Aura Aero - Excalibur Hybrid VTOL
http://www.draganfly.com Dragan Flyer - RC quad flyer
http://www.frontlineaerospace.com Frontline Aero - V-STAR UAV
http://quadrotor.atspace.org Quad Rotor UAV
http://www.microdrones.com Micro Drones - Germany
Micro Drones - Bulgaria
Thin Gap Motors - Form any shape
http://spectrolutions.com Spectro Solutions - Mike Dammar
http://www.rotaryeng.net/VTOL.html Rotary Eng - VTOL Design
http://www.x3d-shop.de X3D Ufo Quadra Copter
http://www.uavm.com UAV Web Portal

Wireless Propulsion



Laser Motive - Powering UAV's with laser
Rectenna Thesis
Rectenna Design 82% efficient
Original work by William Brown
SHARP - Microwave Energy Transfer
SHARP - History
Wave Guide Introduction
Wave Guide 101

Engines and Propulsion

Bladon Jets - Micro Turbines
Beck Technologies - Home Built Pulse Jets
EmDrive - Electro magnetic drive
http://www.srdrives.com Switched Reluctance Gen set high RPMs
http://www.deltahawkengines.com Delta Hawk Aero Diesel
http://www.innodyn.com Innodyne Gas Turbines
Rolls Royce model 250
Pulse Jet - Home Builts Pulse Jet Engines
PulsJet Book - Pulse Jet on a Long Easy
Pulse Jet Development - NZ
Vortech - Home Built Jet Turbine


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