Re: Personal Flight [a variant of AirCars]

Doug Jones (
Sat, 18 Sep 1999 19:10:09 -0700

Spike Jones wrote:
> Robert J. Bradbury wrote:
> > I think we may have a real solution for the Jet Pack
> > vs. Air Car debate. Check out
> Robert, this is a couple of local guys doing this. Looks
> like a possibility to me, or at least a lot closer to workable
> than the aircar concept. Besides, you get to fly around
> with a really cool airswagger posture. Race Bannon would
> look good in one.{8^D
> If they are able to control this thing, I could believe
> ranges of 50 to 80 km with speeds of up to abouti>
> 100 km/hr.
> Whaddya think, Doug? spike

Well, that swagger stance would get uncomfortable in a hurry- I wrote to solotrek a month ago, suggesting a set of footpegs inboard of the vehicle's legs. The photos of the prototype showed a *huge* control authority- large pitch motions of the fans, both collectively and differential, could induce excessive rates. Think of a car with powersteering that goes lock to lock in half a turn- or a bumper car for that matter- twitchy! The technogabble about retinal scanners to lock out unauthorized users seems silly, a key should work just fine.

Even with those fairly large fans, the power demand will be very high, and weightlifting capacity limited. I think the greatest liability is the lack of intuitive body english steering, the difference between skydiving and piloting a plane.

Consider: mini helicopters with ~15 foot rotor disks are easier & cheaper to build, safer (they can autorotate), and have less problems with rotor wash (small area implies higher downwash velocity).

It would be a neat toy, though :)

Doug Jones, Rocket Plumber