How Random Babbling Becomes Corporate Policy (t3knomanser) wrote,
How Random Babbling Becomes Corporate Policy

Why we won't have flying cars

...or, It's the Goddamn Future, and I want my Fucking Flying Car

Flying cars have been a dream of mankind since there _were_ cars- we dreamed of flight, and got planes. We dreamed of cars and got cars. We dreamed of flying cars and got... nothing.

There are some advantages to flying cars:
1) Reduction in congestion- by adding a third dimension to traffic patterns, we exponentially increase the space allowed for traffic.
2) Speed- the lack of obstacles in the air allows for faster travel, and as-the-crow-flies navigation, allowing drivers to take the shortest distance between two points.
3) They'd be fucking cool.

Unfortunately, there's some issues.
1) Energy- Making something heavier than air stay aloft is an expensive prosepect. Unless we're talking about a bulk mover, the costs involved are generally greater than the return. Unless we can find a more effecient principle than the Bernoulli Principle for lift, we're pretty much screwed on that count.
2) Safety- the number of vehicle-on-vehicle collisions will drop, since the air is a big place, and there's plenty of room- at least in more rural areas. We must remember though, that flying requires more speed- that whole "lift" thing- and that over urban areas, the skies will still be crowded. Mid-air collisions will most likely always be fatal- there's no chance to pull off to the side of the road (again, this is all predicated on modern lifting technologies for heavier than air craft).
3) Usage- think about how people drive on the road. Do we really want to trust them with anything more complicated?

For flying personal transport, I would instead, reccomend lighter-than-air craft, or assisted-lift (a craft that isn't lighter than air, but still has lighter-than-air components, reducing the overall downward pull). We could maintain low speeds, and since the vehicle isn't relying on its forward motion to keep it aloft, damage to the engines or passenger compartments does not neccesitate plummetting like a stone to impending death. Of course, the lighter-than-air components would have to be well protected- so we'd need a way to prevent rupture. Unfortunately, lighter-than-air craft have a pretty high lifting-volume/capacity ratio- so that, itself, may not work out.

Of course, if we could find some awesome sci-fi way of fighting gravity, such as anti-gravity fields, electrostatics, or something, that would be kinda cool, and this entire thing could be thrown in the dumper.

So, who wants to build a personal Zepplin?

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