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Author Topic: Heading Skyward To Beat Gridlock With Flying Cars  (Read 1156 times)

innovator

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Heading Skyward To Beat Gridlock With Flying Cars
« on: April 23, 2012, 04:09:35 AM »

Commuters could fly to work in aircrafts in as little as 50 years, scientists in Britain believe.

The prospect has long been the subject of science fiction but engineers at the University of Liverpool believe it could be done safely and affordably.

For a century, scientists have tried and failed to build a flying car that can be used by the general population - but technology and safety fears have prevented it.

It is thought in the shorter term some kind of 'taxi in the air' could be the solution where trained pilots fly commuters to work, according to the university's Dr Michael Jump.

"We're not suggesting that everyone needs to have a pilot licence, but in the near term we believe it would be possible that you could travel to work in specially designed aircrafts, driven by trained 'taxi drivers' and all you would need to do is sit in the back and read your newspaper," he said.

But the longer-term view, says Dr Jump, would be aircrafts flying on auto-pilot on defined motorways in the sky.

The Pal V, a helicopter-style flying car
The Pal V, a helicopter-style flying car

"You would have blocks of aircraft all flying in unison, and you as a commuter would have a slot in that block," he said.

"The problem is one of public confidence in a system like that.

"People want to know that aircrafts are not going to drop out of the sky and are flown by systems that are safe."

Flying cars are already being made.

Last month, manufacturers in the United States revealed the Terrafugia, a road legal, air legal, plane that has wings that unfold from the side to enable it to take off from a runway.

In Holland, a helicopter-style flying car called the Pal V is looking for investors.

It is said to drive like a sports car on the ground before transforming in three minutes into a helicopter that can take off and land from almost anywhere.

This is more like the future, according to Dr Jump.

He said: "For this to work, people will need to be able to take off from their driveways or runways, so the Pal V type design is more like what will be required to turn from science fiction into science fact."
« Last Edit: April 23, 2012, 04:12:57 AM by innovator »
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“Innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower.” - Steve Jobs (American Entrepreneur, Apple co-Founder, b.1955)
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