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Old 9th Jan 2018, 18:26   #1 (permalink)
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Bell unveils ultra light taxi

Bell Helicopter Makes Debut as First Major Helicopter Manufacturer to Exhibit at CES - Bell Helicopter (news)
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Old 9th Jan 2018, 20:51   #2 (permalink)
 
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One look inside Bell’s air taxi reveals an expertly crafted interior, fostered by years of customer insight and attention to detail.
Have they finally worked out how to make a seat that doesn't induce back pain???
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Old 9th Jan 2018, 21:09   #3 (permalink)
 
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THIS REPRESENTS A SEISMIC SHIFT IN THINKING... THE FUTURE IS UNFOLDING

for a dinonsour to make such a seismic shift in thinking is truely a surprising milestone

this is the moment that everything changes

(obviously it will either have 1 engine ... or MANY (but NOT 2!))

you saw it here first.
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Old 9th Jan 2018, 21:48   #4 (permalink)
 
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This article is bereft of any significant details, but if it's alluding to the project I'm thinking of, this concept is in work at some major level with all the big rotorcraft manufacturers.

The idea is to have a completely autonomous vertical lift vehicle that can be accessed via rooftop in major cities, and used to fly across the traffic grid during peak hours.

I don't know if all-electric propulsion is considered a critical design element, but I think the biggest barrier would still be the AFCS and safety questions posing the challenge to public acceptance.

How big of a target would an autonomous helicopter pose to the next generation of L33T HAXORZ?
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Old 10th Jan 2018, 01:46   #5 (permalink)
 
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The question that all of these proponents of "Uber-sky-taxis" avoid is :

Why do they think that permission will be available for these things to land on rooftops or in streets or in parks?

Piloted machines are banned from most places other than certified airports or helipads, and drones are banned from operating in the vicinity of airports, public areas and lots of other places.

This Bell advert is using slick advertising to indicate that this comfortable loungeroom with internet connectivity will whisk them through the skies with no effort from the passengers, other than nominating their destination to somebody who programs it, and paying for it in advance. But it doesn't show what lifting device will get it off the ground.

The average Joe or Joanne on the ground, having a quiet little skinny-dip in their backyard pool, will not appreciate the intrusion of a sky-taxi overhead. In Sydney some decades ago, the Alan Bond airship was banned from quietly drifting through the skies because of thoughts of invasion of privacy, and it was at 1000', not landing next door.
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Old 10th Jan 2018, 03:09   #6 (permalink)
 
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Originally Posted by Ascend Charlie View Post
Why do they think that permission will be available for these things to land on rooftops or in streets or in parks?
Charlie:

Just to clarify, Uber Elevate won't be landing willy-nilly on parking garage rooftops. Among the many partners signed up by the company for its project are property owners such as Hillwood, who own (or are buying up) parking garages, the rooftops of which will be converted into FAA-approved helipads. Who is designing the helipads? Well, as a hint, Rex Alexander of HeliExperts joined Uber Technologies last September as their Head of Aviation Infrastructure.

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The average Joe or Joanne on the ground, having a quiet little skinny-dip in their backyard pool, will not appreciate the intrusion of a sky-taxi overhead. In Sydney some decades ago, the Alan Bond airship was banned from quietly drifting through the skies because of thoughts of invasion of privacy, and it was at 1000', not landing next door.
Valid point, but the plan is for flightpaths to primarily follow existing ground and air infrastructural systems, i.e. highways, railroads and heli lanes (e.g. around airports). This has a number of advantages, including both the privacy concerns you raise, as well as the ability to mask the air vehicle's noise signature. To this end, one of the roles being played by Bell in the program (other than coming up with cabin concept art) is to fly data-gathering flights mapping noise frequencies over highways, etc., the results of which will enable the project team to tune the air vehicle's noise emissions accordingly. (Given the air vehicle's distributed electric propulsion (DEP) design, it will be inherently quiet anyway.)

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Originally Posted by OttoRotate
The idea is to have a completely autonomous vertical lift vehicle
Well, eventually...

I've been a vocal skeptic of many a previous flying car concept on these pages, but I'm with AnFI on the potential for Elevate to deliver a seismic shift. Exciting times indeed.

I/C
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Old 10th Jan 2018, 06:09   #7 (permalink)
 
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Talking the Pug names Bell

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Old 10th Jan 2018, 06:49   #8 (permalink)
 
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Ian C: a completely autonomous "taxi" vehicle? - like the Volocopter (2-seat, 18 rotor design) which made its maiden passenger-carrying fight 25 September in Dubai, or the Ehang 184 (2 seat, 4 rotor) that is also bidding for the contract with Dubai's Roads and Transportation Agency to provide an air taxi service?


If so, then it seems that Bell (and other helicopter manufacturers thinking about unpiloted transport) are playing catch-up.
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Old 10th Jan 2018, 08:17   #9 (permalink)
 
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VF,

Love the pug !

Arrrj
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Old 10th Jan 2018, 10:10   #10 (permalink)
 
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Talking Everyone Loves Bell

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Originally Posted by Arrrj View Post
VF,

Love the pug !

Arrrj
Hey Arrrj....same Mate, Pugs are great, especially this old fella - Bell. Always a Kling-On, nothing much changes, no new surprises, stable, always reliable & sure to be a around for a long time yet...everyone Loves 'Bell' Only shock is the pampering & running costs seem to always be skyrocketing
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Old 10th Jan 2018, 11:25   #11 (permalink)
 
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John,

Elevate won't use autonomous vehicles initially - there's no way the certification authorities would allow it. Autonomous is the eventual plan, but only several years down the road.

Volocopter and Ehang don't meet the requirements of Elevate, due both to their capacity and - more importantly - LD ratio (and, hence, cost per seat mile).

In terms of playing catch up, the Elevate project is far bigger than just the air vehicle. It's an entire system.

I/C
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Old 10th Jan 2018, 14:30   #12 (permalink)
 
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From a purely selfish point of view, it doesnít look so bad in the short to medium term:

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Pilot Training. Training to become a commercial pilot under FAR Part 135 is a very time-intensive proposition, requiring 500 hours of pilot-in-command experience for VFR and 1200 hours for IFR. As on-demand VTOL service scales, the need for pilots will rapidly increase, and itís likely that with these training requirements, a shortage in qualified pilots will curtail growth significantly. In theory, pilot augmentation technology will significantly reduce pilot skill requirements, and this could lead to a commensurate reduction in training time. See the Vehicle: Pilot Training section for more on this.
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