Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Heading skyward to beat gridlock

BBCNews has an interesting post on how a plane-car hybrid might just be the solution to gridlock on our overcrowded roads:

electric powered glider

This vision of the future twenty years hence was revealed at the 2008 Electric Aircraft Symposium held a stone's throw from San Francisco airport in California.

Plotting the next frontier in green technology was Richard Jones, a technical fellow at Boeing Phantom Works.

He said "Today I am talking about making aviation available to everyone as a daily means of transportation. Transportation changes society."

"When they dumped the horse and cart people took over two continents. 150 years ago steam turned America into a nation. Today 50 per cent of the world lives in urban areas thanks to the car. And in the last 50 years, the aviation industry has made one world thanks to the airplane."

...Boeing's research group is designing a hybrid aimed at travelling up to 300 miles at a time. It will use precision navigation systems that would allow the average 'driver cum pilot' to fly without special training thanks to a computerised 'flight instructor' built into the cockpit.

This Mr Jones believes could make the compact plane easier to drive than a car. "People will probably be reading a newspaper rather than flying the vehicles." He said that they will be powered using electricity and /or batteries making them the "cleanest transportation of the future."

Read in full - 'Heading skyward to beat gridlock'

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