h a l f b a k e r y
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1. Trek Aero and Kestrel Aerospace both have personal air vehicles (PAVs) based on counter rotating ducted fans.
2. They do not work. You could just as well buy a small helicopter, it is as difficult to fly, and cheaper. Since the fans are controlled electronically and mechanically, and not kinaesthetically,
they encounter the same difficulties as the "tilt rotor" designs that never really flew safely.
3. Kinaesthetic control on the other hand has proved to be working very well; when man stands on a flying platform, he instinctively controls it by shifting the weight of his body. A bit like riding a motorcycle, but then smoother.
4. Combine ducted fans + kinaesthetic control, and you have something that works and that's fun to fly.
Please have a look at my picture.
You sit in the lightweight fuselage; you sit on the engine, so you can still easily shift your body forward and sidewards, as if you were driving a motorcycle or a bicycle.
5. The idea of having one or both ducted fans positioned slightly upwards is not new [see link].
6. Kinaesthetic control is much cheaper, more instinctive, much more easy to learn and much safer than any other type of control. The Kestrel and Trek Aero don't get off the ground because of the expensive, complex and fragile control systems.
What do you think?
See Trek Aero, the thing that doesn't work
You can see the video, and learn why the thing doesn't work and is outright dangerous. [django, Mar 19 2006]
Then have a look at Kestrel
And you also understand that it doesn't fly. Such a sexy concept would have received tons of investment if it were realistic. Sadly, it is not. [django, Mar 19 2006]
My concept is much better :-)
Isn't it? [django, Mar 19 2006]
"Airgeep" with tilted ducted fans
You see that one of the two ducted fans is positioned upwards, this improves forward thrust [django, Mar 19 2006]
Moller's flying car, still in garage
[theircompetitor, Mar 19 2006]
some relevant annos [ConsulFlaminicus, Mar 20 2006]
New version of The Future
The Future [django, Mar 22 2006]
One more version
more realistic [django, May 23 2006]
One more version (pic 2)
Motorcycle style [django, May 23 2006]
The Cypher ducted fan
This ducted fan looks like Trek Aero's but then upside down [django, Jun 01 2006]
My new "brilliant" illustration
Brilliant, side view [django, Jun 01 2006]
Brilliant, seen from the top
It looks... fantastic!! [django, Jun 01 2006]
||Wow, thanks for digging up the current iteration of SoloTrek, django -- I thought they had gone the way of dodo.
||Why do you say it doesn't work, thouhg? Or are you simply saying it's too unstable to actually fly for any length of time.
||BTW, you also forgot Moller, adding link
||When slowing down, weight will be thrown forwards which conflicts with the desire to throw weight backwards.
||God help you if you have an enormous sneeze while you're flying this. Your body lurches forward, and you are heading for paydirt. Good thing the seconday effect of sneezing is eye closure.
||Nice idea, though. Call Mr Dean Kamen and he'll sell you the guts of a Segway controller to manage it. Got lots lying round, I expect.
||[django] Your drawing is half way there - if you put the centre of gravity below the fans, it'll be stable and steerable.
||Thx for the suggestion, [ConsulFlaminicus]. I'll work on it!
||I just read that the Trek Aero thing uses a 120 horsepower engine; a 1000cc Kawasaki motorcycle delivers exactly that. The question is weight; the motorcycle weighs 175 kilos; say we succeed in cutting that down to 150 kilos for our PAV. Can a man sitting on this, shift this load swiftly enough to steer the vehicle, merely by using his own body weight?
||I made a pic of a slightly more realistic version. See link.
||Added one more version, more looking like a motorcycle. The centre of gravity is lower here too.
||After discovering the Cypher ducted fan [see link], I decided to make a new version. [code name: "brilliant" - see link].
||The defunct "Roadable Times" website led me to the "Air Bike" several years ago. http://www.aerobiker.com/ This seems similar to your idea but includes traditional controls along with kinaesthetic control.
When will we really have a PAV????