Nice to see a local East Lansing boy (Page) behind this project;<).
I know the engineers would throw a fit but I'd find a way to add a parachute to this craft similar to Cirrus. As of 2016 the parachute has saved 131 lives.
The transition to winged flight is interesting. There's a large drone which works like that. Takeoff and landing are on electrical quadrotor props, while for forward flight, a gasoline engine provides power. This give the drone six hour endurance. So it's useful for search and patrolling. This new thing is a scale up of that.
The successor to the Osprey will hopefully be something like this, not the mechanical nightmare of that tilt-rotor. Each engine on the Osprey can power the other rotor in an emergency. The mechanical linkage for that is a nightmare.
Very talented bunch. I've seen the tech and the engineering behind it, and I have no doubt that they can build the aircraft they're claiming here.
What remains to be seen is how they interface with the existing aviation regulatory framework. They even hint at this in the video, with the "making this useful to society" line, and what looks to me like regulatory allowances from NZ.
I'm fairly certain that they know powered lift isn't compatible with dense urban environments, so don't expect a Fifth Element situation in NYC anytime soon. :) I'm super curious to see what the use case ends up being. My money's on super short haul, like Mountain View to Oakland sort of distances, with numerous small, dedicated taxiports similar in scale to ferry terminals.
How fun would it be to have billions to sprinkle on cool projects like this.
The Kitty Hawk Cora launch video from Monday:
Can anyone chime in how this aircraft is so energy efficient? It seems like the props on the wing will give a ridiculous amount of drag. Also, one of the key requirements for an energy efficient rear prop plane is super laminar air going to through the rear prop for efficient thrust. The wing design seems to remove this advantage.
Feels like billionaires solving billionaires problems - this doesn’t scale.
This is a huge step up from last year, where they showed off a drone-esque machine with 20 minutes of battery life: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T_rDkVIhQeY
Edit: they're working on both concurrently, it seems: https://kittyhawk.aero/
This seems like the kind of thing that would be useful in specific situations, but won't be feasible for broad use until we come up with much cheaper electrical energy production (and probably storage too) than we have today, e.g. fusion power or much cheaper solar. At least I don't imagine it can be very energy efficient to expend power on moving up and staying up in the air instead of using the normal force from the ground 'for free' like a land-based vehicle does so it only needs to expend energy to move horizontally (for an intuition about this, think about how hard it is to jump half your body length upward, versus walking half your body length forward). So while it's cool that it's emissions free, it's not great if it ends up using e.g. 5-10x as much energy to make the same trip as an electric car, and it makes it that much more difficult to offset the environmental impact of its production and operation.
im really excited about planes that have several smaller motors and props instead of one or two large ones. its a design that is only now becoming possible commercially because of EV popularity. really looking forward to seeing where it all goes.
Smells like a publicity stunt to me. Feels like Amazon's announcement of drone delivery where the product is vaporware.
Only 8 months ago they were showing just this little sit-on multi copter: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=54ASH0kMSCM
I wonder how long they've been working on Cora
That test aircraft looks very well developed. The article says it can fly 62 miles. I wonder how long it will take to recharge.
13 engines, electric.
And clearly they have built multiple aircraft (I haven't found N-numbers for all of them yet).
How is the energy use compared to ground transport ?
Are we going to dump a massive amount of heat into the environment if flying vehicles become as popular as ordinary taxis ?
I think I am with Musk on this form of transportation. Much too loud for even a small number of people to use them without high noise pollution in any urban area. Helicopters and planes are bad enough and they are quite rare. Even existing freeways are quite noisy. Bring on the tunnels. Unless we can get some kind of anti-gravity or super noise cancellation, I hope these flying cars don't become popular.
Hijacking the thread to ask others opinions how much such aircraft could be scaled: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_nbMrxJo64M
Ekranoplans where around for a while. Uses ground effect to fly quite fast and efficiently. Imagine we made a solar wing, instead of propellers, use water propellers to push for extra efficiency. Anyone wanna do the math?
Would love to see them partner with Passerine Aircraft Corp.
Wonder how this compares in size to Dubai's flying taxis. This one seems like it takes up more space.
Article doesn't mention where they're going to build all the helipads for what are really battery powered autonomous helicopters.
Do I have to take a normal taxi to the airport or an elevator to the top floor of the nearest high rise to get a ride?
Thats a very large meat grinder!
If they can make a "flying taxi" airplane that isn't unsafe, isn't obnoxiously loud, isn't energy-guzzling, doesn't require undue landing/takeoff space, and is scalable beyond the ultra-elite, great!
But how many of those criteria do you think that even Page could get, simultaneously? Two, maybe three? Flying cars are known for being a somewhat difficult engineering problem; that they've been hard enough to prevent partial solutions may turn out to have been a blessing.
And it's not like there aren't other solutions to transportation issues, either.
I'm not much of an airplaneologist, but this looks like a deathtrap to me. I appreciate all of the efforts in new transportation modes though.
Anyone have any idea on what percentage of the energy budget is spent on vertical takeoff? Just curious.
I'm not going to criticize that particular aircraft, no. I respect the effort it took to get it up in the air. But everyone is building an electric, pilotless vehicle for ride sharing, which also happens to be an oversized RC multicopter. Like trying to put Tesla, Uber and DJI products and business models into the blender and get guaranteed receipt for success. I'd love to see more thinking outside of context here.
I prefer the term air-taxi.
I think this is an industry worth growing, but hopefully it won't become too mainstream. Not sure we want thousands of these flying above our heads every day. I like Musk's underground transit plan a bit more.
I wonder how expansive it would have to be to be cost effective.
Also, can it lands in the streets? is that safe ?
To reduce noise you could shoot something with extremely noisy electric ducted fans out of a big tube (tower), and get it to land into another big tube elsewhere.
By the time the vehicle has left the tube it's high enough where noise at ground level cannot be heard.
Something with blades could also carry less juice (or none) and glide to its destination.
Am I the only one that finds these unprotected rotating blades unsettlingly dangerous?
Doesn't Dubai already have air taxis? Would that be a good pilot area?
Literally the vehicles described in Brave New World. Life imitating art.
How much does a ride cost? I'm very price sensitive.
I don't get it. Musk (boring company) and Page (air-taxi) are pumping money in a few garbage projects.
Why don't they even try to accelerate and bring relevant technology to the masses?
When I interviewed with Uber, I met an engineer who had worked for Page @ Kitty Hawk directly before joining Otto (which as we know got acquired immediately by Uber). I don't know that I really have a point, except I found it interesting to hear first-hand about another "Alphabet" (technically page's non-alphabet venture) crossover to Uber.