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Comment Finally, progress (Score 1) 134

VTOL pretty much means "helicopters" (we discount military jets with vectored engines). And helicopter manufacturers are stuck in 70-s.

And you can't really make a traditional helicopter cheaper, you have lots of expensive parts because a failure of any of them will cause lithobraking followed by rapid unplanned disassembly. And they can't experiment with multi-rotor systems because the weight of mechanical transmission is prohibitive.

Fortunately, we now have powerful batteries and electric motors. Creating a helicopter or a multi-rotor aircraft capable of lifting a human is not too complicated because of insane power-to-weight ratio of electric propulsion. There are several companies doing just that.

There's still a problem with energy density - it's easy to take off vertically, but the flight time will be around 15-20 minutes.

Comment Re:Probably a flawed analysis (Score 1) 990

In a couple of years you won't even have to do that. You can drive to Vegas on a Tesla (or a Model 3 in two years) from pretty much anywhere in the US, by utilizing the supercharger network: http://supercharge.info/ . And in a couple of years it'll cover all of the major routes.

Comment Re:a maintenance nightmare (Score 1) 188

We are talking about natural gas, not hydrogen. You can burn natural gas in solid oxide cells but so far none exist that are practical (otherwise all those gas turbines would have switched). And the _real_ (not proposed theoretical) numbers are miserable. See here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/... - that's with cogeneration (i.e. waste heat is also reused).

This is nothing more than a window dressing to greenwash increasing dependency of Germany on natural gas.

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