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Beating the air into submission...

Manned multicopter…

Apparently in Vegas for the CES show, and from what I gather has only done tethered flights so far. However, the radio controlled multicopters I’ve seen (of similar design, fixed pitch props on four corners) only fly by pure brute force and are very inefficient even compared to a helicopter. They literally do seem to beat the air into submission. It will be interesting to see if this machine does any serious flying…

Last Edited by alioth at 09 Jan 16:46
Andreas IOM

What is said to be the advantage?

EGKB Biggin Hill

Personal transportation, beating the traffic in highly congested cities. Because the air above LA is completely empty and you can fly a straight line from A to B. Apparently.

I do not necessarily agree, but that’s the general pitch.

ESMK, Sweden

Timothy, you mean advantage over a helicopter?
No swashplate => much fewer safety-critical parts.
Automatic flight control allegedly easier and less quirky to implement.

Last Edited by Ultranomad at 09 Jan 17:08
LKBU near Prague, Czech Republic

Why don’t they use VP props on these things instead of just beating the air…

ESSB, Stockholm Bromma

One thing I learned from a heli engineer – and this is true for all props – is that the bigger they are, the less power is needed to hover. So bigger rotor disk is always more efficient than a small one. So all these drone technology is actually very inefficient compared to a single rotor.

Adam, that’s true indeed (proven by Theodore von Kármán) – even more so, there is no limit to weight you can lift with a given power if you make the rotor big enough. However, as you make rotor bigger, you run into issues with its strength, flex, weight and moment of inertia.

LKBU near Prague, Czech Republic

…and space, which is the issue here. Inefficiency is being accepted if these things can land at a street corner.
Google, and others, are seriously planning to offer person transport drones for large metro areas. Dubai is currently testing it. No flight controls, all automatic, centrally controlled and monitored A to B transport, picks you up via App and delivers you to where you want to go. Dronesharing, instead of cars.
You buy a drone, or buy a monthly fee. In the morning it brings you to the office, in the evening it brings you back home. Daytime, it works as a flying taxi, and automatically also flies to quick chargers if needed.
Financial models to support that are manifold.
Once the technical infrastructure and battery efficiency, as well as legal issues are solved (which they will), this will be happening.

Come on, folks, you don’t seriously believe we can continue wirh this one person per car in the traffic jam bullshit that’s going on everywhere, do you ? Trillions of tons of metal used by one person two times a day and otherwise sitting dead on the streets ?

Last Edited by EuroFlyer at 10 Jan 08:23
EDLN, Germany

EuroFlyer wrote:

Come on, folks, you don’t seriously believe we can continue wirh this one person per car in the traffic jam bullshit that’s going on everywhere, do you ? Trillions of tons of metal used by one person two times a day and otherwise sitting dead on the streets ?

Obviously not, but I believe more in automatic ground transportation. What will the automatic drones do in 25G40 or FZFG weather?

Last Edited by Airborne_Again at 10 Jan 08:54
ESKC (Uppsala/Sundbro), Sweden

Airborne_Again wrote:

Obviously not, but I believe more in automatic ground transportation. What will the automatic drones do in 25G40 or FZFG weather?

Ground transportation is one way, these drones are another one, maybe premium service for VIPs, who knows that now.
And, weather can affect both. Ever watched a blizzard come over New York over night with 20cm of snow in mid April ? I did. And there was no ground transportation any more. That day.

EDLN, Germany
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