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Uber Air coming to Australia

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Uber has just announced it will be operating passenger aircraft out of Melbourne Airport by 2023.

The intent is to take passengers from the airport to "near where they live".

The suggestion is that could be the roofs of large shipping centres.

The aircraft is a 6 seat (with minute luggage compartment behind the rear seats.)

The design is electric with what looks like two vertical props for up down and hover, and a wing, so presumably the props will rotate 90 degrees for travel.

The aircraft will have a pilot for the first two or three years while data is being logged but is then expected to be autonomous.

The service is being developed in conjunction with CASA.

The information comes from several news sources this morning.

 

It's interesting that in the automotive industry we've been told to shut up about autonomous cars, and expect suitable algorithms to take about 30 years to develop, after the increasingly disastrous recent efforts, but those car makers are still showing their electric concept vehicles complete with radiator grilles and engine compartments, and there are people out there touting electric motors as "maintenance free" who obviously have never owned a hair dryer, but who knows, someone could make a breakthrough at any time!

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The service is being developed in conjunction with CASA.

That's the "wink wink, nudge nudge" sentence that let's those in the know, know it'll never happen....:cool:

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I would think it's very unlikely.. There's technical and liability issues on a grand scale. Nev

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That's the "wink wink, nudge nudge" sentence that let's those in the know, know it'll never happen....:cool:

It won't happen till someone from CASA lands a VP at Uber

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Posted (edited)

Actually, hair dryers, and electric motors in general, have a very much higher reliability rate than IC engines.

The greatest single reason why hairdryers die, is because they become blocked with household/bathroom fluff and this makes them overheat and cook themselves.

The second reason why hairdryers die, is because they are built in the cheapest manner possible, with a race to the bottom for cheapness of construction - and they add "unrepairability" to the design, with one way screws, and rivets instead of screws.

 

The idea of smaller, multiple electric motors driving props or ducted fans is quite a satisfactory idea. It reduces the chances of total power failure to nearly zero. However, more research will have to be done, as regards fast battery recharge rates.

 

I see the air congestion, and flight planning, and ATC logistics, as being the greatest stumbling block to their air taxi ideas. Then there's the reluctance of the general public to travel in new-fangled devices where the crash risk is potentially higher than other forms of travel (although I've ridden with some taxi drivers, who have raised my chances of sudden death, to levels far above the cheapest and dodgiest ultralight).

 

IMO, the air taxi idea will take off (pun intended) - but much more slowly than the pundits try to make out. The major obstacles are still there (battery energy levels and weight, recharge times, ATC issues) - they are high, and they will take considerable time to work through, and to find satisfactory and acceptable solutions to them. I believe "community consultation" to meet general approval, is one area they will also have to work on.

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They talk of a city to airport service. In the late 60's I travelled a number of times from Essendon to city in this:

 

1312448476_VH-INNBell-47J-2oldYarraheliport.jpg.0a6b223c8e42282fabbd8cec0534e16f.jpg

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And Reg travelled home every night in it. There are some amazing stories about those trips to work every day when things went wrong.

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. Not without risks either . At about that time I did a survey of heli accidents and 37% were written of in a year. In their defence a lot of them operated in some risky situations. Once they were turbine powered the stats looked better. Nev

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Uber has just announced it will be operating passenger aircraft out of Melbourne Airport by 2023.

The intent is to take passengers from the airport to "near where they live".

The suggestion is that could be the roofs of large shipping centres.

The aircraft is a 6 seat (with minute luggage compartment behind the rear seats.)

The design is electric with what looks like two vertical props for up down and hover, and a wing, so presumably the props will rotate 90 degrees for travel.

The aircraft will have a pilot for the first two or three years while data is being logged but is then expected to be autonomous.

The service is being developed in conjunction with CASA.

The information comes from several news sources this morning.

 

It's interesting that in the automotive industry we've been told to shut up about autonomous cars, and expect suitable algorithms to take about 30 years to develop, after the increasingly disastrous recent efforts, but those car makers are still showing their electric concept vehicles complete with radiator grilles and engine compartments, and there are people out there touting electric motors as "maintenance free" who obviously have never owned a hair dryer, but who knows, someone could make a breakthrough at any time!

It’s amazing the potential opportunities sponsoring political parties could achieve.

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I think it was Carmody at CASA speaking about this today. They can help etc. Nev

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Does this mean that every "Uber Air" pilot will need an ASIC?

Good luck making the rooves of the chosen buildings becoming a secure site.

Puddles

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I had a plastic model of the Rotodyne that looked very smart.

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Same community consultation we had in Canberra for Wing?

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Posted (edited)

There has to be a reason it didn't succeed. Nev

Unbearable noise from tip jets (which they were working on reducing) and political pressure; the British were deeply in debt to Uncle Sam and under enormous pressure to buy American aircraft instead of home-grown ones. The result was that this revolutionary aircraft and all plans were totally destroyed.

Edited by Guest

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one interesting thing I read in the comments of the mainstream media reporting of this is how everyone thinks that even if it was reliable, even if it was safe, even if it was quiet, even if it was cheap, CASA would still kill it because CASA can't help themselves. we really are comfortable being the lucky country

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one interesting thing I read in the comments of the mainstream media reporting of this is how everyone thinks that even if it was reliable, even if it was safe, even if it was quiet, even if it was cheap, CASA would still kill it because CASA can't help themselves. we really are comfortable being the lucky country

People lie FT, sometimes they just wait to catch people.

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PR stunt to raise investor funds.

 

Cheers,

 

Jack.

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Probably. Bit irresponsible to put a fixed date on it. The FAA chief has made some comments as well as Gibson? of CASA. this isn't something you would just let happen without much scrutiny. puddles post above astutely picks up on the ASIC aspect of it so perhaps WE won't need one of those Ha Ha?? The RAAus should be right on to that one as most of the flying will be over built up areas and presumably in all kinds of weather Oh really ? How do you screen for bombs etc and weirdos using the service. . No Jetsons yet I feel. Pipistrel have a good design and more efficient for range and weight carrying. Nev

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Subscribe to read | Financial Times

 

Air safety agencies rush to draw up rules for flying taxis Several companies aim to begin services within the next 5 to 10 years Lilium’s battery-powered, five-seater prototype air taxi, which it hopes to bring into service by 2025 © Reuters Share on Twitter (opens new window) Share on Facebook (opens new window) Share on LinkedIn (opens new window) Save to myFT Josh Spero and Sylvia Pfeifer in London and Nicolle Liu in Hong Kong June 3, 2019 Print this page 31 Aviation safety agencies around the world are rushing to draw up regulations for flying taxis, with a wave of companies promising to be ready to launch services within the next five to 10 years. In Europe, aviation regulator EASA said it was preparing a set of tests to ensure the safety of both the vehicles and the software that will run them. It said its approach to flying taxis, which is at an early stage, would cover operations and maintenance, the competence of operators, noise pollution, and making sure that the software used by the taxis is scrutinised “with the level of robustness needed”. “This new certification approach would allow EASA to understand how the software behaves in different circumstances,” it said. In the UK, the Civil Aviation Authority has set up a virtual space where flying taxi companies can test their technology, while China’s regulator has authorised five companies to explore airworthiness standards and certification by the end of the year. The market for transporting humans around cities could be worth $674bn by 2040, according to a 2018 study by bank Morgan Stanley, and transport company Uber wants to launch an “Uber Air” aerial ride-sharing network by 2023. There are more than 170 companies developing aircraft powered by electricity, consultancy Roland Berger found earlier this year, half of which are for urban air taxis. Manufacturers say that the first air taxis will have human pilots, before they create artificial intelligence powerful and safe enough to fly the aircraft by itself. The Civil Aviation Authority of China also recently issued draft guidelines that suggested China will develop regulatory standards and co-ordinate demonstrations of UAV by 2020, then build an actual aviation management system by 2035. Regulators are also giving developers the ability to explore how their tech will work in cities. In May, the UK’s CAA announced it had created a virtual “sandbox” for organisations to test their technology. Of the first six, one was innovation charity Nesta, which will explore the future of urban drone use in the UK; another was Volocopter, which is developing its own urban air taxis. Another project in the CAA’s sandbox was from Altitude Angel, which is developing an unmanned traffic management system for automated drones, akin to air traffic control for aeroplanes. Lilium launches city travel electric air taxi The Morgan Stanley study envisaged the market starting as “an ultra-niche add-on” to established modes of transport, before becoming “a cost-effective, time-efficient method of travelling short to medium distances”. Richard Aboulafia, analyst at the Teal Group in the US, said cost will be a key barrier, noting that the market for helicopter travel remains small. “This is not a question of regulation or technology. It’s a question of economics. Very few people can afford to use vertical flying technology on a regular basis,” he said. Companies from Airbus to Uber have announced plans for flying vehicles, or aircraft that can hop from one building to another, driven by breakthroughs in electric motors and battery power. The four-passenger CityAirbus electric vertical take-off and landing aircraft made its first tethered flight on May 3 in Germany. Uber does not want to build its own vehicles, but has recruited manufacturers including Bell, Boeing and Embraer to develop Uber Air. Embraer is in the early stages of developing its eVTOL through its subsidiaries EmbraerX and Atech. Last July, the UK aero-engine group Rolls-Royce announced plans for an electric aircraft with rotating wings that could take off or land vertically, and which it thinks could be available by the early to mid-2020s. Recommended Lex Lilium/electric aviation: wing and a prayer Lilium, a Germany-based start-up, last month unveiled what it claimed was the world’s first all-electric, five-seater plane that it plans to use as a public air taxi service from as early as 2025. The company is already in talks with EASA about certifying the plane. But a spokesman said the aircraft, which will be piloted and has a fixed wing, is designed in such a way that it could fly under existing certification that covers “light aircraft”. “We would prefer not to do that and EASA are working on a specification specifically for our sector,” said the Lilium spokesman, adding that “whichever certification route we go down, it will be as rigorous as today’s large commercial aircraft”. Elaine Whyte, UK drones lead at consultancy PwC and a former safety and airworthiness engineer in the Royal Air Force, said air taxis would need the same safety standards that a century of aviation had already established. “This is likely to be a significant barrier to entry and require different skill sets for those potential manufacturers new to this sector,” she said. Anita Sengupta, co-founder of Los Angeles-based start-up Airspace Experience Technologies, which wants to popularise “private air mobility”, said: “Cyber security needs to be sorted in the air just as it does on land . . . Currently you would be cleared by air traffic control but in future you could imagine a different system” involving AI and machine learning. Additional reporting by Tim Bradshaw and Leyla Boulton in London and Andres Schipani in São Paulo

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there seems to be some movement on regulation although you wonder if Uber isn't trying to play off countries to get somewhere to legalize short range, low altitude commercial flying.

https://www.ft.com/content/13a8bd1e-82be-11e9-9935-ad75bb96c849

Well it is just a press release.

Uber has to contend with some massive financial blockades in Australia over the next few years, so they have to survive first against our taxi industry.

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