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'[TECH]:: At last - the flying car!'
2011\11\02@140457 by RussellMc

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The final missing  item on my childhood wish-list has just been born.

The cellphone and LEO satellite constellations gave us the practical
reality promised by the  Dick Tracy Communicator and the " Man from Uncle"
'Open Channel D' worldwide communicator pen.

John Carmack showed us that the Flash Gordon Rocket ship ("take off and
land on a column of fire / leap into space"), if not quite yet here, was on
its way and Burt Rutan's Spaceship One and the various space tourism
wannabee startups have helped fill in the gaps as we wait.

Micral, Altair, Imsai, IBM, Apple and the growing crowd didn't just reduce
the building sized computers of the early 1950's to a real affordable home
computer, and Xerox's 1972 "Dynabook" portable personal computer dream into
a netbook, but kept on going and we are yet to see the sensible end in
miniaturisation of genuine portable personal computing. And Siri, standing
in for HAL, is yet to show us the dark side of her personality.

And the internet. Oh yes! The internet is what we dreamed of but knew could
never be true! And more.

But, for decades now I, and many others,  have asked

              "Where are the flying cars. They promised us flying cars!
Where are they?"

There have been pretenders. The Solo Trek tired and the  Martin "Jet Pack"
more or less delivered a version of personal flight. And it's undeniably
fun and utterly awesome -  but suh craft will  never fill the flying car
niche. Over the years various grotesque cars-that-also-fly have clawed
their way into and fallen out of the sky. But the Starwars / Blade Runner /
Avatar craft that lift from a  parking place, twist in the air and fall
into the sky have never looked even remotely like happening. Until today.

On October 21st 2011, the flying car arrived.
This hasn't been billed as a flying car by anyone yet as far as I know, and
there is no technical breakthrough here - it's been obvious for a year or
few that this is possible, and increasingly so in the last year or so.

But this claimed world's first flight of an electrically powered
"multicopter" in Germany heralds, (according to me) THE moment when the
flying car made it's first stumbling footsteps (wingbeats?)

          http://www.gizmag.com/first-manned-multicopter-flight/20345/

Unlike the undoubtedly marvellous "Martin Jet Pack" which is so-far
notionally somewhat ahead of what has been achieved here, this craft
represents a proof of concept (which nobody doubted anyway) of
a (reasonably) practical,  (reasonably) safe, (reasonably) affordable means
of (reasonably)  useful manned flight.

16 rotors. 16 electric motors in a quad arm (two crossed beams)
construction. 16 vicious open props, an exercise ball as landing gear (what
an excellent idea).
Don't fly too high on first flight 'just in case'.
Rough - sure.
Impractical as it stands - sure.
Innovative - no, not at all.
But - earth shatteringly new and fantastic.
Fly by wire stable.
Anyone suitably keen and moderately technically capable could build one!
The basic hard work has been done. You can buy the parts, and the
controllers and download the software. There's quit a lot of tinkering
between there and getting airborne, but it's "just a matter of
engineering".

Able to fly safely (they say) in this configuration with up to 4 motors
out. .
How many motors you need or are practical or desirable in more advanced
forms is tbd, but properly implemented, here is something which quite
probably won't fall out of the sky when an amateur-enthusiastic prop fails,
motor seizes, battery vents with flame, computer crashes, etc. Sure main
beam failure and Murphy can and will kill you - as can a prop shard or
unfortunate interaction with a failing part and something excessively
important. But sensible design, sensible construction, sensible operation
and a small amount of luck will make these far safer than small copters,
microlights, hang gliders and more. Worst case this craft will safely bring
it's pilot home, even if dead.

A major initial factor here is the electric drive. It's use of batteries
make it far less energy-density effective by far than fuel powered
internal combustion engines, but allows essentially as many motors to be
placed where you want them and to be controlled easily and well.  IC
versions can and will happen, and it may be that a "diesel electric"
version  may be attractive with an internal combustion engine providing the
conversion of energy dense fuel to electricity to drive electric  motors.

At the upper end this concept is unlikely to threaten conventional rotor
craft. Scalability probably becomes unattractive at large loads, high
speeds and long ranges. But for a craft that can (just about) be flown
safely off an urban back lawn with a reasonably good chance of not killing
its users or miscellaneous people along the way, this concept fills a gap
which nothing else available comes near to.

At last, the flying car! Soon, anyway.


       Russell McMahon
      Copyright Russell McMahon, November 3rd (NZ) 2011

2011\11\02@145236 by PICdude

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This pisses me off, but only cause when we (my high-school mentees +  myself) were building our (small) quad-copter, I brought up the idea  of doing this and we worked out some numbers and figured it was  do-able.  We even came up with using multiple motors on each "arm" for  redundancy.  Only thing that held us back was cost, and getting off my  butt to hunt down funding.  And that I've been busy with some stuff  out of the country.  I really need to start acting on my ideas.  And  that last word is plural, because I've missed a few others too in the  past.

Depressed,
-Neil.



Quoting RussellMc <spam_OUTapptechnzTakeThisOuTspamgmail.com>:

{Quote hidden}

>

2011\11\02@150832 by RussellMc

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> I really need to start acting on my ideas.  And
> that last word is plural, because I've missed a few others too in the
> past.

> Depressed,

No need to be depressed. I think.
There will always be opportunities.

I have a file of my going back decades
A few happen.
Many don't.

It's worth keeping just to see the ones that other people come up wit
years after I do.
ie I missed that one but I'm current with "steam engine time" and
other opportunities exist.

Or that I find have existed ling before I thought of them and been
turned into a commercial product - ie I was late but it shows my ideas
are good.

I "invented" a rocket propellant pump.
Turns out that the basic principle was patented in THE very first
English industrial patent by Thomas Savery in about (from memory)
1769.
Different but conceptually the same.
BUT also Lockheed Martin patented almost exactly my idea 4 years
before I thought of it.
And when I (not knowing about LocMart) public domained mu idea some
other people turned rather green as I was describing in public what
they were doing in private (unknown to me).
They are still developing the idea and have patented various other aspects.
One day satellites in a certain size range will got to orbit using
propellant pumps thought up by me. And others. And Thomas Savery in
17xx. I won't get any  from it but it will be nice to know.

Re the flying car.
The best thing anyone can do is to sit down and write a vastly
detailed description of every aspect of ways that  this may be done
and all the issues they can think of and more. And then publish it
public domain. A truly level playing field.


   Russell

2011\11\02@154604 by RussellMc

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Video
e-volo - makers

       http://www.e-volo.com/Home.html

You tube - 1st manned flight video

  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L75ESD9PBOw&feature=player_embedded

Also on their webpage.

___________________

First electric manned unteered conventional helicopter flight.
August 12th


http://www.gizmag.com/first-successful-manned-electric-helicopter-flight/19716/


Very commendable but dual contra rotating rotor "conventional" design with
horrendously crude control system, marginal mass/power capability and no
chance of ever morphing into a "flying car"

2011\11\02@155935 by Derward Myrick

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Neil, you are right.  I have made good money for the past 50 years
doing just what you said.  It does not have to be cutting edge
technology.  I started  when I saw a person that did not know
much about electronics and made a flashing light using two thansistors
and was selling them.  The stuff I made was years ahead of that but
was not cutting edge state of art circuits.  As I made some money
I started more state of art devices. and am still doing it at 80 years
old.

Derward Myrick






{Original Message removed}

2011\11\02@160116 by Chris McSweeny

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On Wed, Nov 2, 2011 at 7:07 PM, RussellMc <.....apptechnzKILLspamspam@spam@gmail.com> wrote:
> Re the flying car.
> The best thing anyone can do is to sit down and write a vastly
> detailed description of every aspect of ways that  this may be done
> and all the issues they can think of and more. And then publish it
> public domain. A truly level playing field.

Public domain in all of the world except the US, where I'm sure the
patent office (who don't appear to understand the concept of prior
art) will be more than happy to issue patents to anybody prepared to
pay for them, and the legal system will be more than happy to support
anybody with patents and enough lawyers. :(

Chris

2011\11\02@162307 by RussellMc

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>> The best thing anyone can do is to sit down and write a vastly
>> detailed description of every aspect of ways that  this may be done
>> and all the issues they can think of and more. And then publish it
>> public domain. A truly level playing field.

> Public domain in all of the world except the US, where I'm sure the
> patent office (who don't appear to understand the concept of prior
> art) will be more than happy to issue patents to anybody prepared to
> pay for them, and the legal system will be more than happy to support
> anybody with patents and enough lawyers. :(

IANAPA but:

My understanding is as follows. If a patent-affairs competent person
wishes to comment on how right o wrong I am it would be good.

- For $50NZ or about $40US you can get a 1 year provisional patent
which gives you US priority, and then let it lapse, at which stage it
becomes pubic domain BUT supported by patent organisation iorganised
prior claim.

- While a full patent must be carefully and formally constructed, the
provisional patent can consist of about any relevant material you
wuish to shovel into it, out of which you must subsequently build any
subsequent claims.

Russell

2011\11\02@172707 by John Ferrell

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On 11/2/2011 2:04 PM, RussellMc wrote:
{Quote hidden}

www.suasnews.com/2011/11/9691/german-multicopter-makes-first-manned-flight/
I like this one...

-- John Ferrell W8CCW
"The man who complains about the way the
ball bounces is likely to be the one who dropped it."

2011\11\03@070806 by Yigit Turgut

picon face
I don't believe this can ever be an efficient and practical
transportation system due to a dozen of reasons one can easily spot.
IMO transportation will seriously evolve when LIGO discovers more
about gravitational wave's nature. When outputs are combined with
precisely pioneered know-how of the Searl effect.

On Wed, Nov 2, 2011 at 11:27 PM, John Ferrell <jferrell13spamKILLspamtriad.rr.com> wrote:
{Quote hidden}

>

2011\11\03@101641 by PICdude

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How are you comparing the efficiency and practicality of these,  compared to helicopters?

Practically-wise, I'd think it would pretty much fit the same space as  helicopters.  Yes, I know that veers a bit away from "flying car".

Efficiency-wise, I'd think these would be to helicopters, what  multi-engine airplanes are to single-engine.  Higher cost, but have  other advantages such as redundancy.  And with computer  control/balancing already built in, the old case for single-engine  being better in some situations is even less so.  Yes, there is a  difference between these being electric and current helicopters being  combustion-engine powered (though there have been successful  electric-helicopter flights), but that's a separate argument, and  who's to say these multi-copters can't be combustion-engine based  (though I expect we'd need collective pitch for quicker response), or  a hybrid of combustion/electric powered.

FWIW, there are commercial quad-copters with 100-lb or better payload  capabilities in use for some government/military uses.

Cheers,
-Neil.



Quoting Yigit Turgut <.....y.turgutKILLspamspam.....gmail.com>:

{Quote hidden}

>> -

2011\11\03@111420 by RussellMc

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Note - this is in TECH and relates to current applications of known
technology. If you did want to comment on LIGO
<http://www.ligo.caltech.edu/> and Searl effect in this context it
should be done in [OT] if at all.

> I don't believe this can ever be an efficient and practical
> transportation system due to a dozen of reasons one can easily spot.

Given that this is flying now and needs only engineering improvement
to get it to say 1 hour duration flights and does NOT require
"discovering more" about various natures and effects, I'd be
interested in any comments on useful comment on

            > "I don't believe this can ever be an efficient and
practical transportation system due to a dozen of reasons one can
easily spot.

Efficiency usually refers to the optimisation of some variable X while
performing  some task T.
Optimisation may consist of most nearly approaching theoretical energy
expenditure to achieve T  or some proxy for energy ( eg passenger
miles per litre of fuel)
OR may be the best way of achieving T to date,where"best" may means
fastest, cheapest smallest, most beautiful etc.

In this case "task T"  is not so far been achieved  by any other means
so this machine and this system is the most efficient known, so far.
That's not just splitting hairs - this IS a flying car as per Star
Wars, Blade Runner, Avatar and more, even though a very poor one, and
there is NOTHING else actually flying that can claim to be, so far.

Here is an example of  what a flying car is - it is not a "sufficient"
definition and is only "straw-man" necessary but it makes a number of
key points well.

'A flying car candidate is a device that can conceivably be developed
in time without any radical changes in core concept to produce a
commercial product that could  be used unaided and unaccompanied by
your 12 year old daughter, without you being more than typically
concerned for her safety,  to fly from your yard to the local shops or
to a local school and back, at any time of day or night and in any
sensible weather conditions, with the approval of a conceivably
achievable regulatory structure , and with all except takeoff and
landing being able to be made out of ground effect'.

Single and contrarotating rotor large-rotor 'copters with pitch
variable blades are very useful devices indeed - but they will will
never meet the above spec. Noise, risk, good manual quality and safety
features and more preclude your 12 year old ever being likey to get
her hands on one.

The Martin Jetpack and anything like it is great fun and highly
useful, but will never be your daughter's transport.

Hovercraft and WIGA craft don't hunt.

Let's call this craft a MRCFC (Multio Rotor Copter Flying Car).

A MRCFC will not compete at large sizes (as I already noted) with
rotary wing machines. it has no intended aerodynamic lift - and while
this could be added it makes for almost a new class of FC - and one
with some severe problems of its own.


..The energy efficiency of a non lifting MRCFC in translational flight
(whether in eg energy per kg.s or energy per passenger km) is poor
compared to a rotary or fixed wing craft. In hovering flight I'd
imagine it is comparable in efficiency to a rotary wing craft. A
rotary wind craft is  (in almost all cases)  implicitly variable pitch
and can alter load with both rotor rpm and pitch change whereas a
MRCFC is more likely to be fixed pitch and use variable RPM only for
thrust tailoring.  A MFCFC is much more efficient in hover than a
fixed wing craft :-).

However, use of electric motors with multiple rotors and high
redundancy, relatively low noise, easily implemented fly by wire or
remote unmanned stability, pinpoint manouver, compact profile and
more, make "efficincy" a desirab;e

Flight duration targets of about an hour are noted and these seem
achievable and adequate for some extremely useful and practical
implementations. Longer is always nice.

One data point worries me. A good by many standards performance for a
rocket/propellant combination is "300 seconds"  which means that a
unit mass of propellant will provide a thrust equivalent to its weight
at one gravity for  300 seconds.That's for carried oxidiser and fuel.
Use air and to a rough approximation 600 seconds is a good figure = 10
minutes. Igoring the exponential drecreas of full rate neded to hover
as tanks empt the figure of 600 seconds says that an engine using
reaction mass proulsion can hover very very very roughly for no more
than 10 minutes.

A MRCFC is also a "reaction mass" supported system so the 1 hour
target for a battery powered system is "a worry". I'm aware that a few
fairly basic calculations would show what sort of motor energy is
needed for required thrust levels - I just haven't tied it yet. Prop
RPM/thrust/power figures are standard stuff. Where as these are
usually then used to provide forward motion to drive a lifting wing,
as implemented in the MRCFC they provide raw weight balancing thrust,
so must be less efficient -  almost certainly very substantially so.

A brick would compere favorably against the current arrangements l:d
ratio and a real world craft is going to want to achieve a bit more or
much more l:d.
A lifting body shell seems one  reasonable solution. This would
provide extra but acceptable challenges for the fly by wire stability
system.



Incomplete.
Will send rather tha leave n drafts.
Sleeeep


    Russel

2011\11\03@132642 by PICdude

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Admittedly can't read all of this right now.  I know this will get  confusing fast due to a lot of grey area, but...

Wouldn't "car" imply movement on a road?  I'm sure there are  not-so-popular definitions of car, but a car as we know it nowadays  would imply some sort of lateral movement on street, propelled by  wheel movement.  I add that part as some small airplanes (perhaps  triplanes with short wingspans) could then qualify as a flying car.   "Flying car" would then add the ability to fly.

Cheers,
-Neil.



Quoting RussellMc <apptechnzspamspam_OUTgmail.com>:

{Quote hidden}

>

2011\11\03@204144 by Lee Mulvogue

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       I think anyone who's ever played with the concept of multicopters
has had the passing though of if/how/when they could be "man-sized";
just a matter of cost and flight-time.  Efficient doesn't really come
into it, how about "FUN"!!  ; )
       I could easily envision military use of single-person multicopters,
with the pilot lying flat, you could get EXTREME manouverability, but
obviously there's a limit (at the moment) of how much a human can
take, as well as structural stresses.  Of course you could just go the
remote method instead.
       Non-electric and collective pitch would probably be the way for
longer flight times, a single central internal combustion engine
feeding drive belts/shafts for an array of collective-pitch blade
assemblies.
       I think sensor and microprocessing technology/cost has come low
enough that these things are going to be popping up in the average
hobbyists backyard shed fairly shortly.  What would have cost tens of
thousands a few years ago can now be done with an arduino and a wii
controller!  (with motion plus, of course!)
       Moller had his Skycar back in '03, which was essentially an ethanol
quadcopter, but to me it looked unstable.  Wonder if he's been
upgrading the control systems since then (doesn't seem to be much new
info).  That said, a bit of a search seems to indicate quite a bit of
money going in for not much results showing...
       Le

2011\11\03@224248 by RussellMc

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>        Non-electric and

ugh

> collective pitch

ugh

>  drive belts

ugh

> /shafts

ugh

:-)

Possibly, but diesel-electric sounds more attractive.
Or, rather, perhaps, gas-turbine-electric
Central alternator powering electric motors.
Enough battery backup for double redundancy fail safe flee-to-surface mode.
..
>        I think sensor and microprocessing technology/cost has come low
> enough that these things are going to be popping up in the average
> hobbyists backyard shed fairly shortly.

Yes.



               Russell

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