British Flying Taxis Start Production Within Five Years!

chanoc

macrumors 6502
Original poster
May 20, 2003
339
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Anchorage, Alaska USA
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The makers of a British designed "Jetpod" taxi, which they hope to introduce to British cities within five years, insist they will definitely take you to your destination by the shortest route - at 350 mph (563 kph).

Developers Avcen believe they can offer a flying taxi service which cruises at up to 228m at little more than the cost of a road-bound black cab.

Due to undergo "proof of concept" test flights in the next 18 months, the £500,000 ($1.3m) Jetpod would be able to travel the 38km from London to Woking in just four minutes.

Faster than a helicopter, Heathrow to central London would take less than half that time and, so Avcen claims, cost less that £50.

If they are successful the nightmare grind down the motorway to the country could become a thing of the past.

"We're not talking about travelling to Paris. The whole point about this aircraft is that it will scoot you from the countryside to the centre of London in two or three minutes."
 

wdlove

macrumors P6
Oct 20, 2002
16,570
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A very futuristic concept. Very similar to "The Jetsons," noted that taxi will be call "Jetpod." Wonder is this is just a coincidence or something else. This will be a great service in congested areas.
 

aswitcher

macrumors 603
Oct 8, 2003
5,351
14
Canberra OZ
wdlove said:
A very futuristic concept. Very similar to "The Jetsons," noted that taxi will be call "Jetpod." Wonder is this is just a coincidence or something else. This will be a great service in congested areas.
5 years I doubt...maybe 15 to make the tech perfect and sort out all the laws, safety issues, navigation and landing...

This thing shouts terrorist poor-man SCUD/Tomohawk missle to me...
 

PlaceofDis

macrumors Core
Jan 6, 2004
19,232
4
bubbamac said:
Ain't gonna happen.
exactly, the car companies wont be happy with this, and they arent gonna let it get too far because they need thier income
 

Chip NoVaMac

macrumors G3
Dec 25, 2003
8,889
25
Northern Virginia
Sounds interesting, but can those of you on the East side of the Big Pond give us on the West side give us an example of the promises made for the metric challenged?
 

pooky

macrumors 6502
Jun 2, 2003
356
1
Chip NoVaMac said:
Sounds interesting, but can those of you on the East side of the Big Pond give us on the West side give us an example of the promises made for the metric challenged?
38 km = ~24 mi in 4 minutes, roughly 6 mi/min or 360 mph.
 

blackfox

macrumors 65816
Feb 18, 2003
1,208
4,026
PDX
Ah, but which side of the sky will they drive on?

Pretty cool concept, athough I do not believe the timeframe given. Perhaps in 10-15 years something like this could take off (no pun).
 

MacBandit

macrumors 604
I don't think the issue really stems from cars, car companies, or proof of concept. I think the issue is air traffic control. We don't have a way to control safely that many flying objects. You can't just build highways in the sky. On the ground if a couple objects bump people get out and walk away. In the sky well most likely you'll return to the ground in an uncomfortable hurry.
 

Chip NoVaMac

macrumors G3
Dec 25, 2003
8,889
25
Northern Virginia
MacBandit said:
I don't think the issue really stems from cars, car companies, or proof of concept. I think the issue is air traffic control. We don't have a way to control safely that many flying objects. You can't just build highways in the sky. On the ground if a couple objects bump people get out and walk away. In the sky well most likely you'll return to the ground in an uncomfortable hurry.
Actually NASA has been looking in to this issue for a number of years. In fact Discovery Wings had a "Future Wings" show that talked about the concept.

It is possible because of computer control to have highways in the sky according the scientists. Same thing with the "skycar" mentioned here.
 

MacBandit

macrumors 604
Chip NoVaMac said:
Actually NASA has been looking in to this issue for a number of years. In fact Discovery Wings had a "Future Wings" show that talked about the concept.

It is possible because of computer control to have highways in the sky according the scientists. Same thing with the "skycar" mentioned here.
It would have to be nearly completely computer controlled flight except take off and landings. What of birds and other variables though.
 

Nermal

Moderator
Staff member
Dec 7, 2002
18,678
1,183
New Zealand
blackfox said:
Ah, but which side of the sky will they drive on?
They're British, so they'll drive on the left side of the sky. They will also be able to release them in Australia, NZ, Japan, and the other 'left' countries, while all the backwards countries will have to wait for a right drive model :p
 

Thomas Veil

macrumors 68020
Feb 14, 2004
2,435
5,500
OBJECTIVE reality
PlaceofDis said:
exactly, the car companies wont be happy with this, and they arent gonna let it get too far because they need thier income
If they're smart they'll try to get onboard by either developing their own or buying this company.
 

Mr. Anderson

Moderator emeritus
Nov 1, 2001
22,407
0
VA
Maybe flying from farm to farm - flying those into the city isn't practical since you still need a run way. And with all the infrastructure you'll need, airport services, flight control/management - nah - won't happen.

There has been some work on a similar concept, but its not a jet. It uses four turbofans in place of the wheels and it can lift the car vertically - like the Harrier Jump Jet and cruise at around 200 mph. This to me seems much more practical than a JetPod.

This is actually a working prototype.....

http://www.moller.com/skycar/

D
 

Chip NoVaMac

macrumors G3
Dec 25, 2003
8,889
25
Northern Virginia
Mr. Anderson said:
Maybe flying from farm to farm - flying those into the city isn't practical since you still need a run way. And with all the infrastructure you'll need, airport services, flight control/management - nah - won't happen.

There has been some work on a similar concept, but its not a jet. It uses four turbofans in place of the wheels and it can lift the car vertically - like the Harrier Jump Jet and cruise at around 200 mph. This to me seems much more practical than a JetPod.

This is actually a working prototype.....

http://www.moller.com/skycar/

D
But this is also based on the NASA work on highways in the skies concept.
 
Is it just me...

Does anyone else think that putting people who talk on cell phones, put on make-up, fiddle with their radios and carry on conversations in charge of a flying vehicle is an absolutely horrible idea? Unless something like this can be completely automated, it will never take off (pun intended). Inevitably, the manufacturers would face lawsuits because of negligent flyers and go out of business in no time.

Let's put this at 25 years down the line with a difficult to achieve licensing system and HUGE insurance costs. Think of these being little more common than helicopters are today.

Flying car ideas have been around for at least 50 years. I remember seeing back issues of Popular Science I think...
 

Mr. Anderson

Moderator emeritus
Nov 1, 2001
22,407
0
VA
I think you're right about the automation aspect of these things. We won't see them until they're able to fly themselves - because if left to humans, it would be a disaster in the making. And plenty of people would get killed....imagine FUI (flying under the influence) :D

D
 

MacDawg

macrumors Core
Mar 20, 2004
19,708
4,274
"Between the Hedges"
jayscheuerle said:
Does anyone else think that putting people who talk on cell phones, put on make-up, fiddle with their radios and carry on conversations in charge of a flying vehicle is an absolutely horrible idea? Unless something like this can be completely automated, it will never take off (pun intended). Inevitably, the manufacturers would face lawsuits because of negligent flyers and go out of business in no time.

Let's put this at 25 years down the line with a difficult to achieve licensing system and HUGE insurance costs. Think of these being little more common than helicopters are today.

Flying car ideas have been around for at least 50 years. I remember seeing back issues of Popular Science I think...
Maybe I missed something. I thought these were "taxis", not driven by the individuals. Still some of the same problems, but not as wide open.
 

lalcan

macrumors regular
Sep 8, 2003
147
0
Left of the center
It will happen, sooner or later we'll have to get off the streets, whether it's by flying or by staying home to work, a radical change is needed asap, people are wasting more money and cash getting to work/school/shopping/entertainment than ever.
 
Chappers said:
At the moment its a taxi service we're talking about not something Osama can rent from Rentascud.
Don't know about your side of the pond, but the taxis in Philly are pretty dented up and a ride in most of them can be a fairly harrowing, risk-filled experience. I'd imagine that the skill to maneuver these things is not something your average Pakistani immigrant is going to pick up over the weekend...

Did you ever see "The 5th Element"? That's what I'm envisioning (maybe not the intensity, but the irreverence of the taxi drivers and the state of their vehicles)...