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https://youtu.be/LeFxjRMv5U8

Wow, 150km/h speed!  Oh wait, that's only 90mph.

100km range!  Oh wait, that's only 60 miles.

All electric!  Oh wait, that's where the 60 mile range comes from.

Zero emissions!  Oh wait, that's zero emissions at the airplane, but doesn't take into account emissions to generate the electricity or produce the batteries.

VTOL!  Oh wait, I bet it would have twice the range if it took off normally.

Self Piloting!  Oh wait, that's just...a terrible idea.

I'm all for innovation and you have to start somewhere, but I just don't see how this is a huge leap forward.  Where is a self-piloting air taxi going to land safely, *other* than an airport?  It's not like you can just drop a ton of metal covered in spinning blades on your street or next to the mall.  And if you have to use airports anyway, the VTOL feature is a bit useless and you still have the "last mile" problem to contend with to get anywhere.  

Maybe I'm just cynical.  

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the lifting motors go to sleep in cruise --  12 props and motors creating drag, hard to like that.

if it can't auto-rotate how do you make it safe landing and taking off?  

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9 minutes ago, Ed Cesnalis said:

the lifting motors go to sleep in cruise --  12 props and motors creating drag, hard to like that.

if it can't auto-rotate how do you make it safe landing and taking off?  

My thoughts exactly.  If it quits, look directly below you because that's where you are going with all that drag.  

If ever there was an airplane that needed a BRS, that is it.

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Power plants are far more efficient at extracting energy than an ice engine. Though I believe once all of the losses are factored in, it probably won't be as good.

I am in agreement though, this smacks more of marketing for investors than actually working to create a viable product.

Who knows, they might actually make something that people want. But I am with you, these kinds of "neat new inventions" are a dime a dozen. It is for that reason I too am skeptical.

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I always feel like I'm missing something when reading these articles.  Like Andy says, when you cut through the non-aviation jargon, you are talking about a modern aircraft flying airport to airport, minus the "self flying" part.  That exists already -- they are called "airplanes" and lots of people would be happy to fly said airplane for a paying customer (aka, pilot for a charter flying company).  Adding "self flying" means adding lots of new, expensive avionics and highly developed and thoroughly tested software to fly it.  Since a new Cessna based largely on half-century-old technology starts at $300k, how can an all-new, cutting-edge, self-flying airplane be remotely affordable per mile for any paying customer?

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7 minutes ago, FlyingMonkey said:

My thoughts exactly.  If it quits, look directly below you because that's where you are going with all that drag.  

If ever there was an airplane that needed a BRS, that is it.

I'm trying to picture a vertical landing failure saved by the BRS, up to 13 props going and likely unstable and close to the ground.

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16 hours ago, Ed Cesnalis said:

I'm trying to picture a vertical landing failure saved by the BRS, up to 13 props going and likely unstable and close to the ground.

It depends on how you attach the bridles.  The pusher config always makes a BRS install a challenge.  The lifting props are so small I'm guessing you could design something that avoids them without too much trouble.  But if this thing is going to be an air taxi for non-aviation folks, I'd remove the BRS handle and let the computer decide when/where to deploy.  Which give me the creeps on another level, of course...

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Can you imagine flying in an aircraft maintained by Uber, a company with a long history of corner-cutting and subterfuge?  Even a well-intentioned company without aviation experience might screw it up if they think these vehicles are like cars that just happen to fly. 

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2 hours ago, John Vance said:

Can you imagine flying in an aircraft maintained by Uber, a company with a long history of corner-cutting and subterfuge?  Even a well-intentioned company without aviation experience might screw it up if they think these vehicles are like cars that just happen to fly. 

I haven't done any maintenance on my car in 500+ hours, surely an airplane can't be THAT much different...

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Fortunately, 135 services would get regular visits from the FAA.

When you operate under any part other than 91 (excluding subpart k), the faa oversight increases DRAMATICALLY.

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5 hours ago, John Vance said:

Can you imagine flying in an aircraft maintained by Uber, a company with a long history of corner-cutting and subterfuge?  Even a well-intentioned company without aviation experience might screw it up if they think these vehicles are like cars that just happen to fly. 

If my plane were to be as reliable as all my cars have been over last 15 years ... can’t get better than that and no FAA or any other agency to worry about.

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