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Personal human flight: Science fiction becomes reality

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  • Personal human flight: Science fiction becomes reality

    Lost amid the contentious rhetoric in Washington is a bill before Congress that actually has bipartisan support. America's Transportation Infrastructure Act of 2019 is a $287 billion spending bill to fund highways, bridges and tunnels, with grant programs to provide infrastructure for hybrid, electric and alternative-fueled vehicles.

    This is an important first step, but it is akin to putting a bandage on a severed artery. America's infrastructure is in dire need of repairs.The American Society of Civil Engineers estimates the US needs to spend some $4.5 trillion by 2025 to improve the country's roads, bridges, airports and more. According to TRIP, a national transportation research group, 44% of America's major roads are in poor or mediocre condition.

    And problems with our infrastructure will only worsen due to growing urbanization. A United Nations report last year predicted that by the year 2050, two-thirds of the world's population is expected to live in urban areas. To accommodate this population density, cities will require massive changes to infrastructure, including more efficient and environmentally friendly transportation.

    One innovative solution is on the horizon. For the first time in history, we have the ability to create personal human flight. Earlier this month, Franky Zapata piloted his hoverboard across the English Channel. Of course, this is just one example of many inventions that are being developed.From electric aircraft to jetpacks, our science fiction dreams are becoming a reality.
    There has been a convergence of breakthrough technologies over the past few years. Personal flyers are now possible with advances in propulsion, lightweight materials, and the sensing and control systems of the drone world. Combined with the increased performance of batteries and capacitors that make it possible for electric vehicles to go farther than ever before, along with the advent of 3D printing and other types of rapid prototyping, inventors around the world are able to finally create the flying devices of their childhood dreams.

    A number of initiatives are already striving to take us off the roadways and onto the skyways. Kitty Hawk's Cora, the all-electric two-seater air taxi, is currently testing in New Zealand. And Boeing's Aurora Passenger Air Vehicle (PAV) became one of the first electric prototypes to successfully achieve autonomous hover flight in January. Meanwhile, Uber has partnered with multiple companies to conduct test flights of flying taxis by next year.

    Boeing, Pratt & Whitney, and more than 20 aviation associations have also supported the GoFly Prize -- the multi-million dollar challenge that I created. Zapata was a Phase 1 participant in the competition, which has attracted more than 840 teams with a total of 3,750 innovators from around the world -- all with the singular goal of creating a personal human flyer.
    The GoFly Prize is championing the development of vertical take-off and landing vehicles. These GoFly VTOLs are lightweight, quiet, single passenger aircraft that take off vertically into the air -- meaning they don't need runway space -- and are often powered by electric or hybrid engines, making them both energy-efficient and ideal for commuting in cities.


    In the face of increasing urbanization and failing infrastructure, it is necessary that we adopt a transportation system centered around personal flight. We have the technology, and the Federal Aviation Administration is already working on the regulatory aspects. The final step will be public acceptance. With the GoFly Prize, as well as other personal flight programs currently being piloted around the world, the public will soon realize just how efficient and effective this form of transportation will be.

    In a speech in September of 1962, President John F. Kennedy declared: "We choose to go to the Moon ... and do the other things, not because they are easy but because they are hard, because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills ..."
    We have gone far beyond what Kennedy could have ever imagined when he set his bold deadline in the space race challenge. Now it is imperative that we reach the next audacious challenge by making the dream of human flight a reality.
    https://www.cnn.com/2019/09/02/opini...ter/index.html
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  • #2
    Jetsons here we come!
    "I guess I just hate the fact there is public property at all." - Mr. Raceboy.

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    • #3
      Personal Flyer control! Wait for it!
      At the precipice, we change!
      The problem with Capitalism is that humans run it.

      Comment


      • #4
        You know how I've been saying for some time that schools are obsolete?

        Today I was driving around and I started thinking...I think cities are obsolete too.

        Consider:

        1. We no longer need to physically congregate to share information and knowledge.

        2. The costs of infrastructure, housing, food/water/energy supply logistics, and waste management in cities are skyrocketing.

        3. The apex weapons of war in this era are crafted primarily to destroy areas of dense population (at great cost to life and economy)

        4. In the grand scheme of things, urbanization is a very recent event (about 100 years old) and has created a lot of problems for humanity, likely more than it has solved.

        I am really starting to think that over the next few centuries we're going to see a migration away from the current urbanization, and that in another 100 years we will be remembering supercities as a thing of the past.

        Pete (thinks, unfortunately, that it will take the nuking of a few huge cities to convince people that living in such densely packed "target areas" is not a very good idea)

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Plezercruz View Post
          You know how I've been saying for some time that schools are obsolete?

          Today I was driving around and I started thinking...I think cities are obsolete too.

          Consider:

          1. We no longer need to physically congregate to share information and knowledge.

          2. The costs of infrastructure, housing, food/water/energy supply logistics, and waste management in cities are skyrocketing.

          3. The apex weapons of war in this era are crafted primarily to destroy areas of dense population (at great cost to life and economy)

          4. In the grand scheme of things, urbanization is a very recent event (about 100 years old) and has created a lot of problems for humanity, likely more than it has solved.

          I am really starting to think that over the next few centuries we're going to see a migration away from the current urbanization, and that in another 100 years we will be remembering supercities as a thing of the past.

          Pete (thinks, unfortunately, that it will take the nuking of a few huge cities to convince people that living in such densely packed "target areas" is not a very good idea)
          Go visit Tokyo. The density is crazy. Meanwhile, they literally can’t give homes away in the country.

          Dan (supposes people are social animals and need to congregate for other reasons)

          HFM

          As long as there exists people with religion and a belief in God, there will never be a Libertarian state.

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          • #6
            I'm not saying that cities are going to go away. I'm saying more that the current ratio of 80% urban 20% rural might shift back toward a more even distribution.

            Pete (notes that 100 years ago the ratio was about 50/50)

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            • #7
              Last I saw, projections are suggesting the opposite. At some point, the difference in cost of shipping food and water will be more significant.
              They speak in bulletpointese leftist nutjob drivel. It doesn't matter. Nothing is as great a motivator as the chance to truly be free.
              -Mr. Raceboy

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              • #8
                De-centralizing water supply is tricky; monitoring (and adjusting) water quality is fairly specialized and has to be done routinely.
                "Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect." –Mark Twain

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                • #9
                  Pete’s dream is Little House on the Prairie with High Speed Internet.
                  "I guess I just hate the fact there is public property at all." - Mr. Raceboy.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    People are leaving the big cities right now to escape the costs involved. However, they're being replaced by new fools every day.
                    At the precipice, we change!
                    The problem with Capitalism is that humans run it.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by skooly View Post
                      Pete’s dream is Little House on the Prairie with High Speed Internet.
                      It's funny you say that. We have started shopping for a piece of land of at least 10 acres where I can build a smaller house, a small house for my mom, and a nice steel building for all my toys/storage. We thought we found the perfect property except no high speed internet. Deal breaker.

                      Right now I have 2600 square feet with my mom living with us. I could live in half that with a 500 square foot standalone for my mom as long as I have my steel building/workshop of about 2000 square feet.
                      "Democracy is a form of worship. It is the worship of jackals by jackasses." H.L. Mencken

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Mr. Raceboy View Post

                        It's funny you say that. We have started shopping for a piece of land of at least 10 acres where I can build a smaller house, a small house for my mom, and a nice steel building for all my toys/storage. We thought we found the perfect property except no high speed internet. Deal breaker.

                        Right now I have 2600 square feet with my mom living with us. I could live in half that with a 500 square foot standalone for my mom as long as I have my steel building/workshop of about 2000 square feet.
                        Make sure it’s at least 200 feet above sea level.
                        They speak in bulletpointese leftist nutjob drivel. It doesn't matter. Nothing is as great a motivator as the chance to truly be free.
                        -Mr. Raceboy

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by skooly View Post
                          Pete’s dream is Little House on the Prairie with High Speed Internet.
                          I never said I'd be leaving.

                          Pete (is a city kid)

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                          • #14
                            Back to the original topic, given ask the problems that people seem to have diving in a two dimensional environment, I don't think that giving people jet packs, or whatever, is going to improve anything. Hell, in twenty years, when they get sold like used cars, some guy with modded out fins is going to have an injector clog up and land on three other layers of commuters.
                            "Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect." –Mark Twain

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Mr. Raceboy View Post

                              It's funny you say that. We have started shopping for a piece of land of at least 10 acres where I can build a smaller house, a small house for my mom, and a nice steel building for all my toys/storage. We thought we found the perfect property except no high speed internet. Deal breaker.

                              .
                              I'm in agreement with your thinking, except I can assure you, your deal breaker will change pretty soon. Something will come along.

                              At the precipice, we change!
                              The problem with Capitalism is that humans run it.

                              Comment

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