Tuesday, August 27, 2019

Meet George Jetson's - Flying Car

I have to admit, my favorite cartoon series on kid's TV is The Jetsons - family, space, advanced technology, flying car, lively robots, and a big goofy dog. What's not to love?

Its super interesting then that an new environmental sustainability study on the impacts of flying cars, (i.e., electric vertical takeoff and landing aircraft or VTOLs), combine helicopter pluses like vertical takeoff/landing with the efficient aerodynamic flight of an airplane. In fact, flying cars might have a strong role in longer trips, according to work done at the University of Michigan

Apparently, a key efficiency component involves distributed electric propulsion (DEP), which uses small, electrically driven propulsors (i.e., propeller-like and makes it fly).

When researchers looked at energy use and greenhouse gas emissions during takeoff hover, climb, cruise, descent and landing hover, they found that VTOLS  use lots of energy during takeoff/climb but are fairly efficient when cruising at 150 mph. 

VTOLs can finish a 100 kilometers trip much faster than ground-based vehicles. Just as a point-to-point flight "as the crow flies" path is shorter, VTOL flights and higher speeds, offer an 80% time savings compared to ground-based vehicles.

Companies such as Airbus, Boeing, Joby Aviation and Lilium are currently  developing flying car prototypes. I can hear The Jetson's music in my head now... Go Science!

No comments:

Post a Comment