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CASA says air taxis within 5 years

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CASA says air taxis within 5 years

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Old 1st Jan 2019, 06:13
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Uber's proposal is for electric tilt rotor in an urban environment
No wonder they are regulator shopping, who will want to sign off that kind of operation? One only has to look at the history of tiltrotor alone to realise as a public transport concept it is very risky, let along throwing it into busy cities with 1000's of people to kill on the ground.

I love to know what the contingency is for an engine failure in transition, or for a stuck rotor in transition.

CASA would be crazy to even entertain this proposal as it stands right now.
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Old 1st Jan 2019, 07:20
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It's kind of ironic in a "that'll never fly Mr Wright" kind of way that once you (presumably) issue someone with a pilots licence, they are immediately endowed with the understanding as to why something will never fly...
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Old 1st Jan 2019, 08:18
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Originally Posted by Andy_RR View Post
It's kind of ironic in a "that'll never fly Mr Wright" kind of way that once you (presumably) issue someone with a pilots licence, they are immediately endowed with the understanding as to why something will never fly...
Andy,

The laws of physics can show why Mr Wright et al were not pursuing a folly.

Right now logic says this concept will not fly, current laws of physics, economics and logistics can show what this will likely not work. True, never say never, but tell me how you think this might work.
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Old 1st Jan 2019, 08:54
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Originally Posted by Andy_RR View Post
It's kind of ironic in a "that'll never fly Mr Wright" kind of way that once you (presumably) issue someone with a pilots licence, they are immediately endowed with the understanding as to why something will never fly...
Go have a look at the 80 odd year history of tiltrotor operation and tell me what Uber knows that everybody else doesn't. If Boeing have trouble with the concept why on earth are a IT company going to solve it? Unless someone has a technological breakthrough this is going to be a nonstarter. That's before you even start thinking about battery powered aircraft.
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Old 1st Jan 2019, 09:19
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Forget about the technology of the machine, assume the boffins will solve the technical issues and produce a "driverless" drone capable of carrying 180-250kg payload.

Where is the market? Think about your own travel habits. Work to home. Home to work. Home to shops. Shops to home. Home to restaurant or entertainment area and back. Now, how many suburbs could accommodate a craft landing within walking distance of your house? Sure, your local Westfield can give up a hundred car bays and fence off a 60m by 60m landing pad but as said above what about the CBD?

The front runners in this should be parcel delivery by autonomous drone, are they near? Not really. When they solve the parcel delivery issues then the air taxi may be closer to reality.

Probably more like this Neville, not tilt rotor...

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Old 1st Jan 2019, 10:56
  #46 (permalink)  
 
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If Boeing have trouble with the concept why on earth are a IT company going to solve it?
Big IT companies have quite an established history at operating inefficiently and charging way too much, so while their senior executives play with toy drones in the board room and market the future possibilities of "air taxis" regardless of how ill informed they are, their share stock gets the kind of attention of a forming bubble.

Yes, it's all just bull dust, actually it's more like a mashup - first you clump together a bunch of crap, then you polish it, then you roll it in glitter.
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Old 1st Jan 2019, 12:50
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Not to be a conspiracy nut here, I know we all reckon this will be drawn out so much by CAsA that it'll never happen, it'll be decided to be un-economical because of the barriers, but what if the exact opposite is true? CAsA have always wanted GA out of the Air, they've made that perfectly clear on many occasions, now imagine someone comes up to them offering to do something with a Modern Fleet, that can be held accountable to stringent Maintenance requirements, that operate according to fixed rules due to being coded in and take a whole bunch of GA Aircraft and Pilots out of the air in our crazy old wacky flying machines? What if they view this as an opportunity to further then agenda of eliminating GA as we currently know it with something that is far easier for them to regulate? No more pesky Pilots to worry about, no more Piston engines, less flying schools required and certainly a lot less GA AOCs out there?
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Old 1st Jan 2019, 13:04
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Originally Posted by Icarus2001 View Post
Probably more like this Neville, not tilt rotor...
Uber's White Paper points toward tiltrotor as the cruise efficiency of fixed rotor are not good enough.
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Old 1st Jan 2019, 19:49
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Iíve personally got no idea if the technology is currently feasible, however, whoís going to be operating these flying cars? God help us if itís the average driver! The only way this could work is it for to be autonomous and controlled from a central station that handled all deconfliction.
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Old 1st Jan 2019, 20:18
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Noise alone will kill this idea, then there is the issue of weather. I for one would not want to be watching from the air as a buster or cold front rolls towards me.
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Old 1st Jan 2019, 23:17
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Congestion at the landing point will also be an issue - some high-rollers want to Uber in to the footy field for the finals - only 2 landing spots available, there are 20 of them in a holding pattern, batteries getting low...
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Old 2nd Jan 2019, 00:37
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Originally Posted by Ixixly View Post
Not to be a conspiracy nut here, I know we all reckon this will be drawn out so much by CAsA that it'll never happen, it'll be decided to be un-economical because of the barriers, but what if the exact opposite is true? CAsA have always wanted GA out of the Air, they've made that perfectly clear on many occasions, now imagine someone comes up to them offering to do something with a Modern Fleet, that can be held accountable to stringent Maintenance requirements, that operate according to fixed rules due to being coded in and take a whole bunch of GA Aircraft and Pilots out of the air in our crazy old wacky flying machines? What if they view this as an opportunity to further then agenda of eliminating GA as we currently know it with something that is far easier for them to regulate? No more pesky Pilots to worry about, no more Piston engines, less flying schools required and certainly a lot less GA AOCs out there?
....as they say..........."Too many what if's in that sentence"!:-):-)

CASA need the GA industry to keep their justification for lunacy!:-)

This would have to be the most entertaining thread on Prooooon, we should have a fictional section where crazy ideas get air time without ever having to leave the ground:-):-)
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Old 2nd Jan 2019, 06:40
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Originally Posted by 27/09 View Post
Andy,

The laws of physics can show why Mr Wright et al were not pursuing a folly.

Right now logic says this concept will not fly, current laws of physics, economics and logistics can show what this will likely not work. True, never say never, but tell me how you think this might work.
Originally Posted by neville_nobody View Post
Go have a look at the 80 odd year history of tiltrotor operation and tell me what Uber knows that everybody else doesn't. If Boeing have trouble with the concept why on earth are a IT company going to solve it? Unless someone has a technological breakthrough this is going to be a nonstarter. That's before you even start thinking about battery powered aircraft.
Whilst I agree with you that a tilt wing/rotor is a desirable, perhaps necessary aspect of a viable eVTOL solution, I think to suggest that Boeing "having trouble with the concept" as a bar to all others being successful is painting with a broad brush indeed! Sure there's been some issues since the XV15 days and the V22 isn't without issues but that hasn't stopped the roll-out of the V280 nor the AW609. All of these craft are monsters compared with what I think is necessary for an ‹ber air taxi business model They also offer good lessons in what actually works in real life.

Having said that, I believe the air taxi idea, whilst one way of attracting funds to aid development, is a step too far too quickly. Sure, it may come eventually but I think a personally-owned eVTOL, perhaps starting in the experimental category - possibly even as an E-AB makes more sense, at least initially It's undoubtedly a huge new area of possibility with lots to explore and many lessons to learn. The technology will be developed. The real question is where and who will own the rights to it...

As far as it being a viable possibility, I believe it already is now with current tech. I haven't seen any proposals made public that to me look aerodynamically viable but I have been doing my own design calcs on a single-seater concept and at 650-ish kg MTOW yields a 135kt/250km/h cruise speed for a 100km/54nm range with a VTOL each end. That's about 25-30kWh worth of energy, I think. One key question remaining is what reserves are likely to be required for electric aircraft since demanding 30mins when the maximum range flight time is only 25mins seems a bit extreme and would kill the idea dead at this point in technology.

As far as ‹ber et al being IT companies and not aerospace companies, I don't see the issue here since it isn't skills or expertise they offer but rather financial muscle and backing. The real expertise needed is usually readily available if you have money to spend.

No, I don't believe we'll have viable air taxis in the time frame predicted here but we sure as hell should be playing about in this sandpit well before five years has elapsed.
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Old 2nd Jan 2019, 12:02
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I wouldn't compare Uber's abilities to overcome legislative issues within the motor car taxi industry to a similar ability to overcome legislative issues within the aviation industry. For one, the motor car taxi industry had deteriorated to the point where license holders were earning tens of thousands of dollars for doing sweet FA while the drivers of their taxis worked on a 50% cut of the fare and were struggling to make ends meet. If you look closely at that industry you will also find many of these license holders own multiple licences - the system is well and truly broken and I wouldn't be surprised if the government was actually in favour of Uber helping break up that industry. There is a bloke down my street who was a taxi driver all his working life, then settled to become just a license holder of 2 licenses letting others to do his work - he managed to acquire 15 houses in his work life. When the price of taxi licences dropped because of Uber both he and his family began protesting very vocally on being compensated.

I just don't see the same similarities between the motor car taxi industry and the aviation taxi industry as there is much less fat in the latter.
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Old 2nd Jan 2019, 16:35
  #55 (permalink)  
 
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If this actually happens, then it will be because the foreign based entrepreneurs behind it persuade the Fed government at Cabinet level to approve it as a part of some larger deal in which they and the government are parties. CASA will not play any part of it, nor will they have any interest in playing with something over which they have no control, instead it would be rubber stamped by some agency called something like the Advanced Transport Authority (etc).
And it might even work !
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Old 2nd Jan 2019, 23:45
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Those who suggest that the Big multinationals will flout the law anyway may be right.
unauthjorised sattelite launch

A US tech start-up has been slapped with a historic fine for launching unauthorised satellites, prompting warnings about "runaway cowboy-like behaviour" from private companies joining the space race.

Key points:

  • Start-up denied permission over concerns about tracking satellites
  • Low-Earth orbit still the "wild west" with little regulation, expert warns
  • Concern over NASA stoking commercial interest in space exploration


Swarm Technologies was fined $US900,000 ($1.28 million) for launching four mini satellites in January 2018 after explicitly being denied permission by the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) over concerns about the ability to track them.

An investigation found Swarm used an unaffiliated launch company in India to get around the restrictions, but was caught out when the satellites transmitted signals back to a station in Georgia in the US.

"We will aggressively enforce the FCC's requirements that companies seek FCC authorisation prior to deploying and operating communications satellites and Earth stations," FCC Enforcement Bureau chief Rosemary Harold said.
Obvious solution is to domicle the company in BVA, or some other Tax haven.
Mick
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Old 2nd Jan 2019, 23:58
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Jeez,
I use a SAT phone a lot, does that mean I have to get FCC approval to receive transmitted signals from space?
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Old 3rd Jan 2019, 04:56
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Originally Posted by Andy_RR View Post
Whilst I agree with you that a tilt wing/rotor is a desirable, perhaps necessary aspect of a viable eVTOL solution, I think to suggest that Boeing "having trouble with the concept" as a bar to all others being successful is painting with a broad brush indeed! Sure there's been some issues since the XV15 days and the V22 isn't without issues but that hasn't stopped the roll-out of the V280 nor the AW609. All of these craft are monsters compared with what I think is necessary for an ‹ber air taxi business model They also offer good lessons in what actually works in real life.
However neither of those types are certified. My point is that for such a radical design, if aerospace companies are having problems over a 20 year design phase then why do Uber think they are going to get this up and running with electric motors in 5 years??? Why not just stick to a fixed rotor? It's not like you need speed to fly around a 60-100NM radius which is what most cities would be.

In regard to fixed reserves or battery power available, they are already pushing for FAA waivers.

As mentioned previously this is just a PR exercise and by going to the regulators they are gaining free publicity and credibility.

You can read all about it here: Elevate Whitepaper
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Old 3rd Jan 2019, 06:26
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Originally Posted by Icarus2001 View Post
Forget about the technology of the machine, assume the boffins will solve the technical issues and produce a "driverless" drone capable of carrying 180-250kg payload.

Where is the market? Think about your own travel habits. Work to home. Home to work. Home to shops. Shops to home. Home to restaurant or entertainment area and back. Now, how many suburbs could accommodate a craft landing within walking distance of your house? Sure, your local Westfield can give up a hundred car bays and fence off a 60m by 60m landing pad but as said above what about the CBD?

The front runners in this should be parcel delivery by autonomous drone, are they near? Not really. When they solve the parcel delivery issues then the air taxi may be closer to reality.

Probably more like this Neville, not tilt rotor...

Can anybody see the potential for shredded people here? One of these things lands for the first time, the news crew rushes in to get a scoop, and they actually NEED a scoop to retrieve the reporter.
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Old 4th Jan 2019, 02:28
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Originally Posted by neville_nobody View Post
However neither of those types are certified. My point is that for such a radical design, if aerospace companies are having problems over a 20 year design phase then why do Uber think they are going to get this up and running with electric motors in 5 years??? Why not just stick to a fixed rotor? It's not like you need speed to fly around a 60-100NM radius which is what most cities would be.
I agree that the 5 year timeframe is somewhere on the optimistic side of realistic but I don't think that precludes the use of tiltrotor concepts. The energy efficiency required for electric flight will, I think, pretty much preclude the use of conventional rotorcraft although some are trying
As you can hear on this video, the noise profile of the R44 isn't much changed by deleting the Lycoming. Noise will be another one of the huge hurdles to overcome and rotorcraft aren't the ideal thing in this regard
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