7 thoughts on “JoSH”

  1. My favorite from the early 2000’s was Paul Moller’s Skycar. I quickly tired of it as SpaceEx started to bud and bear fruit.

    Wiki says he went bankrupt in 2009 after spending $100 million of his and investor money on the project. I had no idea he’d spent that much.

  2. Moeller’s SkyCar was aeronautical vaporware. For decades, he’d get some ignorant journalist (is there any other kind?) to lure more suckers to invest. All the while, he never flew it untethered, not even once.

    I knew a man in Colorado Springs who owned the only airworthy Taylor Aerocar Model I in existence. He also owned the only Model II. My airplane mechanic did the annual inspections on the Model I. I did see it several times but I never saw it fly. It didn’t perform well at the local altitude. He kept it with his sons who lived in Florida and California. It was a homely thing but it was certified for production by the FAA. I met Molt Taylor, the engineer who spent decades developing the Aerocar, at Oshkosh back in 1977 or ‘78. It was bureaucracy as much as anything that killed the Aerocar. Molt didn’t have many nice things to say about bureaucrats. If you ever get the chance, check out the only Aerocar Model III on display at Seattle’s Museum of Flight. It was much better looking than the Model I.

  3. Aviation is really great but unfortunately, partly as a result of WW1, it became a plaything for bureaucrats to torture.
    The only hope is the EAA homebuilder movement. I think the flying car is possible to build right now from largely COTS parts.
    Distributed electric for vertical solves most of the past problems with propulsion and wings and an IC or turbine for cruise should make for a nice 2 seat VTOL homebuilt. Think something like a VTOL Lancair 360. Pal of mine has one and gets 208KTAS cruise.
    I cannot think why anyone still makes certified aircraft as the bureaucracy is commercially lethal.

  4. I’m not a pilot but I’ve been interested in Part 103 ultralights, and I know that there have been issues getting the FAA to revise those rules that are around thirty years old. I think the FAA made some announcements at Oshkosh this year to finally bring Part 103 up to meet current technology.

  5. More to Mike’s comments, I would love to get into flying, but the cost is a huge barrier, so experimental or ultralight is my only affordable option so that I could do the maintenance myself.

    I just saw a vid yesterday, where a guy bought a lancair that a guy built. He modded a throttle cable screw in his hanger that was nearly identical to one on a GA plane with the same engine that was hard to find and costed $200. It’s insane.

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