Flight Air TaxiAir taxi flight
but your air taxi is on its way.
About A&S Interviews
Vikas Prakash, a $1.3 million NASA scholarship holder at Case Western Reserve University in the field of machine and space technology, wants your next taxi trip to take place in an electrically operated aircraft. So what's your concept of an air taxi? An airborne car with a 50 to 120 mile reach that carries two to four people and circles at an elevation of 3,000 to 5,000 ft.
On the basis of the latest accumulator technologies, the most frequent commuting route could be a 50 mile round tour with two brief perpendicular starts. Federal Aviation Administration restricts aircraft under 10,000 ft to velocities of approximately 250 mbph, so we can anticipate velocities between 150 and 200 mbph. Are the air taxi's gonna be manned?
Yeah, air taxi's gonna be manned some day. Another 10 to 20 years may pass before we see a fully automatic, pilots-less plane flying through an area of the city. Which are the benefits of the battery-operated drive compared to the air taxi drive? In order for air taxi cabs to be able to use local transport as needed, they must be secure, silent, clean as well as effective.
Fully electrical jets using battery-powered jets are supposed to have no operating emission and be silent enough to fly in urban environments without disrupting neighbours. In flight height the sound of modern electrical cars is hardly audible. What's more, the sound is hardly noisy. Traditional jets will have two or more large power plants under the wing, but these air taxi's will have many smaller electrical motor along the body, allowing a dispersed power drive.
In your opinion, what is the best air taxi outfit? It is our belief that the success of the air taxi will not be based on the rotating wings of today's choppers. What would your designs do to reduce the airplane's overall mass? Designers face a major obstacle with today's all-electric airplanes, as the available battery packs contain much less power per kg of mass than airplane fuels.
There is a tremendous output shortfall that we need to fill - about 40x less [energy than is needed], even if we consider the best available battery. Particularly in the case of smaller ships, these restrictions on the use of electricity are evident. Electromotors partially offset this drawback by being more effective at transforming heat into electricity than beam drives, but there is still a significant difference in output.
Ultimately, an airplane would need either a four- or five-fold increase in power densities, or would have to wear a very large rechargeable batteries package to approximate the power of today's commercial airplanes. Substituting some of the traditional airframe structural material with activated batteries allows us to increase power while reducing weight and bulk.
Either we can use the aircraft's architecture to save power, or we can construct a battery that can also perform a structured [aerodynamic] role. You think the general population is willing to go aboard an air taxi without aviators? In a recent survey, however, more than half of respondents answered that they would not buy a flight without a flight pass, even if it was less expensive than the alternatives.
Is our latest air navigation system able to take air taxi? Today, municipal sky space is open for operation, and with air navigation services as they are, a vertically integrated air navigation system could be started and even scale to potentially run on several hundred aircraft. The air navigation sector needs to develop further and new air navigation services are needed to cope with these additional vessels, especially if a single municipality would be adding several turnstiles and potentially several hundred air taxi cabs.
It is not our intention that air taxi aircraft should fly in the same room as commercially operated aircraft. It is expected that a seperate air passage for air taxi will be made. Aerial Taxi could be administered via a system similar to a remote demand system that can relieve burden on international air travel, while vertical air transport controllers (UAVs) and vertical air transport controllers (VTOLs) are able to resolve possible regional VFR clashes even in bad conditions.