Flying Car Technology and Prototypes: Today’s world is the world of technology. Technology rules over the world. We may be daydreaming of flying in the sky, and this may be a dream come true. We have been talking a lot about aircraft. But today we will be talking about the incredible car that flies in the air. Yes, that’s right; flying cars are real. Some fake rumors are spreading against the flying car, but don’t bother about them.
You must be wondering how do these flying cars fly? In the latter part of this article, we will reveal the truth about flying cars. We will also be talking about flying car technology and prototypes. The Flying Car is the type of vehicle that acts as both air and road means of transportation.
Nowadays, road accidents are increasing rapidly day by day. So, this project will be worth controlling road accidents because there will be a very less chance of accidents in air. Car honks, oh gosh, I am fed up with these traffic jams. I daydream that I would have a personal flying car. I would fly over the road and get rid of these traffic jams.
It would be great to pack a few bags and fly anywhere in the world along with your friends in your jet. There would be no need to book the plane tickets and wait for the date of departure. You need to start the engine, the car roars, and accelerate it. You would notice that before the blink of your eye, you would be in the air. Just get your car’s fuel tank full and get ready to reach the destination.
Design and Development
The flying car must be capable of being operated safely and reliably on both roads and in air. It must also be environment-friendly and can be able to fly without a qualified pilot. The person must be able to fly it without much technical knowledge. The cost should not be higher and can be affordable for people.
The person must be a qualified road driver and aircraft pilot to drive the flying car. The driver needs to learn to drive the flying car from an expert or professional before driving it. It includes aircraft driving, navigation, and emergency procedures. The driver needs to get the license to operate the flying car like the pilot need to fly an airplane.
The flying car will fly over 10000 feet from the ground. So, the safety of the driver must be the priority of the company. Although the flying car would be less safe than a commercial airplane because pilots driving the flying car would not be well trained or expert. Therefore, the vehicle is designed, keeping in mind the safety of the driver.
The safety of all the citizens other than the driver must also be considered. The car may fall from the sky due to some reason. So, flying car safe zones will be established in some cities to keep citizens safe from flying cars falling from the sky. The weight should also not increase the maximum limit.
Advanced and expensive technologies will be used in the flying car for a small and powerful propulsion system. Therefore, the cost of flying cars would be a minimum of 2 million dollars and could be as much as 10 million dollars. Flying cars would be used for shorter distances at lower speeds. This car would fly at lower altitudes compared to airplanes but at a higher frequency.
The optimal fuel efficiency for airplanes is obtained at high altitudes and high speeds, but the flying would fly at a lower altitude and lower rate. So, it’s fuel efficiency will be small compared to airplanes. It will not only less economical in the air but also on the road.
A flying car must be capable of used safely within a densely populated urban environment without any problems. It should work smoothly in such a situation. The flying car’s parts, such as rotors, should be silent and must not create excessive noise pollution. It must also not create excessive air pollution and be weather-sensitive and support every type of weather. It must be capable of driving in different climates such as stormy, rainy, snowy, etc.
We have talked a lot about the basics of flying cars. Now, comes the main topic: flying car technology or How do flying cars fly?
Flying Car Technology
Flying car technology: The technology varies for different models. But the technology used in the flying car is almost the same as that used in airplanes and helicopters as they are small airplanes only. Since only the shape and design is molded into the car. But the driver will need the license to drive the flying car like any other pilot. Now you must be wondering about the technology used in airplanes.
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Aerodynamics means the interaction between the air and moving bodies. It is based on Bernoulli’s principle, which states that air and pressure are inversely proportional to each other. It means faster the air, lower the pressure.
While looking at the cross-section of an airplane wing, we can notice that the upper edge is rounder than the lower one. Let’s assume there are two air particles. First air particle needs to move a longer distance around the top edge than that of the lower edge. It means that the speed of the air around the upper side is more than that on the lower side.
It means the pressure of the air against the upper side is comparatively lower than that moving down the lower side. The higher pressure against the lower edge keeps the plane in the air. Engine help in creating propulsion, it helps in moving the aircraft move forward. So, this is the reason behind the flying of an airplane and the flying car also.
Some of the questions might have come in your mind while reading the article relating to the flying car. The following may help you.
Can a flying car be used as a personal air vehicle that provides safe door-to-door transportation?
Yes, a flying car can be used as a personal air vehicle, but its usage will be restricted to some area only. Flying car safe zones will be established in some cities to keep citizens safe from flying cars falling from the sky.
What companies are currently working on flying cars?
Here are a few:
Flying car prototypes
Pal-V LIBERTY is a two-seater flying car and powered by gas. It can travel up to 250 miles, but the weight should not exceed the maximum limit. If used on the road it can reach a maximum speed of 100 mph. It costs US$600,000. Currently, it is undergoing certifications of safety and should roll out in Europe in 2020.
You have been watching the videos that appear to show vehicles flying uploaded by the company. The good news is that the company has brought this flying car to the US. Americans can order it now. The company says it has already secured 70 pre-orders of its premium liberty model.
Aeromobil is a two-sitter flying car that is powered by a four-cylinder Rotax 912 engine generating a maximum speed of 120 mph (200 km/h). It can fly for around 700 km (430 miles). It would cost $1.6 million.
Ehang 184, an electric flying car, can take off and land vertically. The vehicle can fly for a maximum of 25 minutes. It can reach the maximum speed of 80 mph. The only issue is the short flight time, but the company has said that it is enough for movement within the cities. The company is looking to improve its battery life. The release date is not out yet, but the company is going to release it soon.
Volocopter 2X is a two-seater flying car that can take off and land vertically. It also has a short flight time of approximately 27 minutes with a range of around 17 miles and can reach the maximum speed of 62 mph (100 km/h).
Although it can be self-flown, it also has an autopilot mode. This flying car is made for short route services.
Terrafugia Transition, a two-seater copter, has foldable wings. It supports a four-cylinder Rotax 912iS generating a massive 100HP. It can fly for a distance of 400 miles. In the car mode, it can travel at an average speed. Volvo oversees its engineering.
The driver requires a Driver’s License and Sport Pilot Certificate. It costs US$279,000.
This flying car can run the maximum speed of 100 mph. The safety features include Airframe parachute, Airbags, Seatbelts with automatic retractors, structurally rigid cabin engineered to meet auto safety standards, three cameras in drive mode.
Aurora, a three-seater flying car with eight rotors and a fixed-wing as well as rear propellers which make it ideal for vertical maneuvering. Uber is going to use this flying car for its service by 2020.
Lilium is a five-seater flying car with 12 engines and 36 rotors. This car can reach a maximum speed of 62 mph ( 100 km/h). The vehicle is the most useful of the lot and is expected to be running as a taxi service by 2025.
Kitty Hawk Cora
Kitty Hawk Cora, a flying car, can fly for 60 miles and has the support of 12 lift fans. It can reach a maximum speed of 110 mph. It will launch soon into the market. Looking at some of the models and their launch dates, flying cars seem to be just around the corner.
What problems will arise once flying cars become a mass phenomenon?
Flying cars would be a bad idea because of the following reasons:
- There may be crashes between flying cars; even the small crash will cause widespread death and destruction on the ground. The accidents in the air will be more severe than that on roads. Hundreds of road accidents occur every day. Imagine that same number of flying cars falling from the sky.
- Flying car safe zones will be established in some cities to keep citizens safe from flying cars falling out of the sky. It will make it very difficult for flying car drivers to plan trips to make sure they don’t violate such air space.
- These will create a lot of noise, which will be many times that of airplanes and helicopters. It will lead to noise pollution.
- Air Traffic control will be much higher, and new systems will have to be developed to control the air traffic.
- The flying car will be challenging to maintain and will cost very high maintenance charges. The spare parts will be much expensive.
Can nanotechnology be used to make flying cars?
Air lifters are technically known as Electrohydrodynamic (EHD) propulsion craft or Ionocraft work by ionizing air. It uses electric fields to propel the charged air molecules. It is quite similar to the famous ion drive of NASA.
Its problem is that the thrust is so low. So, it cannot lift both the craft and its power supply. Hence, nanotechnology cannot be used in flying cars.
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