Pre­pare for fly­ing cars in the mid-20s, claims jour­nal

The Star Early Edition - - OPINION & ANALYSIS -

ONCE pure science fic­tion, fly­ing cars soon may be re­al­ity, based on dra­matic tech­ni­cal ad­vances by com­pa­nies such as Euro­pean air­craft man­u­fac­turer Air­bus and a start-up backed by com­puter chip maker In­tel, the Wall Street Jour­nal re­ports.

The cur­rent de­signs are less about cars with wings and more about small ve­hi­cles for short com­mutes by air that take off and land ver­ti­cally. In their modes of op­er­a­tion, some of these fly­ing cars evoke the Har­rier Jump Jet, made world-fa­mous by the Bri­tish mil­i­tary in the 1982 Falklands War, and oth­ers such as the tilt ro­tor Osprey used by the US mil­i­tary.

The crit­i­cal ad­van­tage that these new de­signs have over heli­copters is that they are smaller and more com­pact, the jour­nal says. In par­tic­u­lar, these pro­to­type fly­ing cars do not have the long, pro­trud­ing ro­tor blades that make the safe op­er­a­tion of heli­copters dif­fi­cult, if not im­pos­si­ble, in cramped ur­ban set­tings. Mean­while, ride-shar­ing co-or­di­na­tor Uber Tech­nolo­gies is work­ing on its own con­cept, but has re­leased few de­tails.

Some pro­to­types al­ready are be­ing tested in the air, while oth­ers are planned to take off within the next few years. Pro­mot­ers of the fly­ing car con­cept pre­dict that such air­craft will be in ser­vice early in the 2020s, but that seems rather op­ti­mistic to the jour­nal. – In­vesto­pe­dia

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