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Nifty but unlikely vehicles - Synchronicity swirls and other foolishness

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December 21st, 2006

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02:59 am - Nifty but unlikely vehicles
So, today I ran across the "Personal Air and Land Vehicle (PALV), a single-occupancy transportation unit which drives like an enclosed motorcycle on the ground, yet when necessary, it can unfurl its rotors and transform into an honest-to-goodness autogyro", which is one of the niftiest bits of tech I've seen of late, if sadly also one of the least likely. If Bell Helicopter can't make the Osprey tilt-roter vehicle work well enough not to crash periodically, I have little faith that this will reliably get off the ground. OTOH, it's a very cool idea and I'd love to see it work. I put it in approximately the same category of likelihood as the Moller_Skycar, which I consider possible, but definitely unlikely. However, given that this is the 21st century, we really should have flying cars by now. Well, at least I can write something like the PALV into a gaming book...
Current Mood: amusedamused

(2 comments | Leave a comment)


[User Picture]
Date:December 21st, 2006 04:03 pm (UTC)
This actually seems somewhat more likely to me than the Skycar, and less problematic than the Osprey. It's worth noting that tiltrotor has never been reliable, while people have been flying autogyros relatively successfully since the twenties. There's just less to go wrong -- especially compared to the Skycar, which is fighting gravity directly the whole time and has all the aerodynamic lift of a house brick. :)
[User Picture]
Date:December 21st, 2006 06:27 pm (UTC)
> I have little faith that this will reliably get off the ground. OTOH

I suspect it will get off the ground quite well. However staying aloft, then landing smoothly when and where one wants it to land is something else again.

I remember reading about some guy a long time ago who had device which would let him do a vetical lift-off from a highway. He lifted off without looking carefully, and his rotors got snagging in an overhead electric wire.

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