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Toys Transportation

Last Sky Commuter For Sale On eBay 189

DeltaV900 writes to alert us to an auction on eBay of the last Sky Commuter concept car. About 7 hours remain in the auction and the top bid at this writing is $55,100. The seller (with some help from posters in the auction forum) makes clear that the thing won't actually fly, and in fact never did. Other Sky Commuters may have hovered. This one traveled around to air shows and trade fairs.
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Last Sky Commuter For Sale On eBay

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  • by SmallFurryCreature ( 593017 ) on Monday January 14, 2008 @07:14AM (#22032980) Journal

    Watch those same shows and see the ones where the pilots still managed to land the aircraft, like the one over Iraq that got shot at, or the several cases of where an airliner lost all engine power etc etc. Plenty of cases where real airmanship and seat of the pants flying were called for that could not be delivered by an auto-pilot or a button pusher.

    Only a complete and utter moron looks at a routine job when everything is normal and judges how difficult a job is based on that. The entire point of using real humans with serious training as pilots is NOT for when everything is normal but for when the shit hits the fan and all of sudden an airline pilot you think is just a button pusher is in control of a giant glider.

    An autopilot can take off, cruise and land, but it can't deal with an emergency and as was shown during an airshow in europe autopilots will happily try to land an airliner in a forest.

  • by jcr ( 53032 ) <.moc.cam. .ta. .rcj.> on Monday January 14, 2008 @07:27AM (#22033012) Journal
    With modern computer control, it should be possible to stabilize a three-fan system like that. What I would wonder though, is how efficient it could be in forward flight, having very little in the way of effective wing area.

  • by owlnation ( 858981 ) on Monday January 14, 2008 @08:10AM (#22033190)

    Pilots have to be 100% sober, have no criminal records, good sight (without the use of glasses), and pass a billion other tests. Flying around in mid-air is not quite like driving on the road. You have to keep track of wind, other flying vehicles, obstacles - and you have virtually no guidance (like roads). And when you make a mistake, you loose hard. Not only you, in fact, but everyone around you, too.
    You're right. But... during my entire private pilot's license test I was thinking, "why isn't this the same for car drivers?" If the conditions you stated also applied to car drivers -- and there is no reason why they don't -- think how much safer roads would be.
  • by hipsterdufus ( 42989 ) on Monday January 14, 2008 @11:18AM (#22034764)
    Have you ever seen:

    A car accident?
    A broken-down car beside the road?
    Aggressive driving?
    Drunk driving?
    Cars with the left blinker on endlessly?
    Cars with broken head/tail lights?
    Cars doing 60+ mph on the space-saver spare?

    Now, can imagine all this happening even 20 feet in the air? Disaster.

    The flying car already exists and it is called a helicopter. If you think you can fly a helicopter without weeks upon weeks of training, then go buy one and start commuting.
  • by XiX36 ( 715429 ) on Monday January 14, 2008 @03:44PM (#22039026)
    You would need a sophisticated autopilot guidance system with traffic detection and a lot of computer control over the flight of the aircar. You would need to discourgage/disable manual control while in flight to keep all aircar traffic flowing in a predictable way/avoid having really nasty accidents because the little old lady piloting the purple air-car forgot her glasses at the bingo parlor... You need a system that would need to be proven to be safe and reliable for a long time before it gets adopted by the masses, and until a flying car can manage to fly after: 1) while commuting home one night, you manage to hit 7 out of 12 ducks flying south for the winter 2) you forget to check the lubrication levels in the right rear turbofan, in fact you should have gotten an oil change 2 1/2 months ago... 3) since you can't afford a new one right now, your exhaust system will just have to be held up by bailing wire and duct tape, hopefully the shearing forces of the wind won't rip it off 4) Microsoft Windows-Flying Car Edition crashes... at 9,000 feet....

"If it's not loud, it doesn't work!" -- Blank Reg, from "Max Headroom"