An aircraft convertible into a roadable vehicle is widely believed to be
impossible due to government regulations pertaining to cars. Fuel economy
limitations, crash worthiness, and weight penalties for 5 mph bumpers, air
bags, etc. This is all false.
Its false because motorcycles are exempt to almost all regulations and a
flying car is really a flying motorcycle if it rides on three wheels.
Since a three wheel configuration is best for an airplane, it will also
work for a car. Three wheel cars tend not to be as stable as four wheel
cars, but can be made as stable as a conventional car if the main gear
(rear two wheels) are spaced far enough apart. A three wheel car with its
rear axle as wide as a Hummer will be a great handling car. Legally, a
three wheel car is a motorcycle and only has to meet basic emissions
specifications. All safety rules and fuel consumption rules, etc., etc.
Ford, build us a Flying Pinto now! The market is there for a safe and
practical flying car.
This vehicle would not qualify as an ultralight non-licensed aircraft;
a valid pilot's license would therefore be required to operate it. I
suspect the training (and cost, and medical checks, and ongoing
monitoring) would keep the bar pretty high for people who wanted to buy
this flying Pinto.
On 16 Dec 2006 18:18:41 -0800, firstname.lastname@example.org wrote:
WRONG. Look at the idiots now who bribe their way into a drivers'
license - Many of the 9/11 Hijackers had multiple VALID drivers
licenses from various states and in different falsified names.
Or people getting renewal registration/tags on their car that is
spreading more oil than a paving crew, smoking like a locomotive,
about to rust in two, or otherwise shouldn't be on the road.
Pilots Licenses should never be too easy to get. Same with
Airworthiness Certificates for the flying machines they use.
If they try to mass-produce Flying Cars they better be able to
screen the pilots and equipment thoroughly and never let the standards
slip, and never let bribery and graft get a toehold.
Point in fact: John Denver, the singer. Had an expired pilot's
license, bought a new homebuilt plane that someone else built, and
AIUI he had never flown it and hadn't been checked out in it. Went up
flying with both fuel tanks only 1/4 full - and then lost control and
crashed into the ocean while trying to switch tanks when one went dry,
because he couldn't find the tank selector valve...
If you take the idiots that are on the road and allow them to get
into the air, the carnage is going to be revolting. You will have
pilots flying North at the altitude assigned for East/West just
because "it's too crowded down there at my assigned altitude and
heading, besides nobody is going the other way!"
It will look like an Eastern European Taxi Driver Convention in NYC.
Bumper Cars in the air, playing Chicken as three pilots all try to
squeeze through a space wide enough for one. Hint: Planes don't have
horns, and you're too far apart to flip each other the bird.
The kid that's lane-splitting the freeway at 75 on a Crotch-Rocket
motorcycle today will be flying up a blind canyon at treetop height in
his hopped up flying car tomorrow - and he won't really know whether
he has the climb rate to get over the top of the hill till he gets
there... His obituary will read "Controlled Flight Into Terrain."
You'll have people ignoring the rules on having at least 45 Minutes
of reserve fuel on board (enough to get to the next airport or back
where you started) and crashing with dry tanks because "My home
airport has gas that's .10 a gallon cheaper, I'll wait and fill up
You'll have people doing their own plane repairs with no regards at
all as to whether it's fixed right - with a plane, if it quits you
can't just pull over and call AAA, you are going down somewhere...
And you say "A Multi-Engine plane wouldn't have that problem if an
engine quits - oh yes they do, and even worse than a Single. When one
engine fails on a Twin you have to be very well trained in the
emergency procedure - meaning you have only seconds to identify and
shut down the engine that failed, and not the good one by accident.
And then you have to trim the plane to have a hard pull to the side
that is still running, it's kind of like driving a car with the
steering wheel held hard over because you have two flat tires on one
side. And you still better have an airport handy, because you may not
be able to climb any higher or even maintain cruising altitude - the
engine that is still running just slows the rate of forced descent.
Multiply your troubles if the engine that died is on fire...
"A twin engine plane only gets you to the crash site faster."
--<< Bruce >>--
I couldn't have said it better!! Most of the "driving" public is too damn
fly. There's way more to it than just zooming off to work in your Pinto. I
myself in that description. I think I could be taught to fly, at least I would
never really considered it though, so I don't know.
You have to admit, though, that a flying car is attractive on first thought.
your Pinto, drive to your local 'port, attach the wings, and zoom off to work.
the lowly commuters stuck in traffic and looking for a parking spot. (Haa haa
But, where are ya gonna land, store the airframe, and where are you going to
the Pinto if the parking garage is full?? Go***mit, back to square one.
Go get a pilot's license, if you haven't already got one. Come back
when you've got it. Tell me how you think people can game that system.
It's exclusionary, by design.
And your point was... what, exactly?
You're an alarmist and possibly a Luddite. Worse, you argue like a
Democrat: "Nobody can do anything for themselves, the government needs
to control everything. All the people need to do is pay their taxes and
not own any guns or airplanes or power tools".
Then it's doomed. Time pressed, self important idiots with cell phones, laptops,
makeup and lunch in hand wouldn't buy them. Qualified folks would just buy the
thing. (Whaddaya mean I gotta do all of that to get a flying Pinto..."scuse me,
a call...now what were you sayin'?)...
Absolutely, I couldn't agree more completely. THAT is why it will never
be produced. I know never is a strong word, but I'll stake a bit on it.
The Luddite argument that it's too dangerous to allow people to buy it
I dismiss as unmitigated liberal-style bullshit.
(Also, nobody has mentioned/noticed the fact that an aircraft requires
an order of magnitude more fuel than a ground vehicle. Joe Sixpack
cannot afford this).
Sure, no denying that. I'm only asserting that flying cars will always
be a niche product for various reasons, mostly economic.
Though given a free choice of James Bond equipment for myself, I would
much rather have a submarine car than a flying car.
I'm an air traffic controller, you see how these people drive on the ground!
keep the masses out of the sky. But a computerized highway flying system
might be nice. Maybe stack multiple lanes up to 400' AGL and dont allow the
flying cars to leave the boundary of the highway laterally or vertically.
You'd have to put in your destination then just sit back and enjoy the ride.
sure I talk to GA aircraft, and sure theres a few of them that might not
have business flying but, there's still a tiny tiny fraction of them in the
sky compared to cars on the ground, maybe because of the $3-5000 price tag
for a private pilots license? and really the only problem children are just
the new pilots, they at the least take it seriously unlike a new driver.
Wouldn't the maintenance be a tad high, too? I mean a Flying Ford would
require a lot higher maintenance standards than a my Contour. I can do the
work on the Contour myself. But I don't have an FAA license to repair and
maintain a plane. When my car's engine was low on oil, I just filled it up
when I got home. If that happened to my Flying Ford, I would be looking for
the nearest landing spot. So stricter maintenance requirements are in order.
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