Ehang unveils drone that can carry a human

Discussion in 'Aviation Videos' started by johnbr, Jan 8, 2016.

  1. johnbr

    johnbr Well-Known Member

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  2. stona

    stona Well-Known Member

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    I can see the CAA here in the UK being over the moon about something like that !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Cheers
    Steve
     
  3. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

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    Saw it on BBC News a day or so ago, and it was mentioned that they're already forbidden in some countries.
     
  4. GrauGeist

    GrauGeist Well-Known Member

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    So the drone flies sideways?
     
  5. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

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    The nav lamps would suggest that, but no, I'm sure it goes the right way.
     
  6. T Bolt

    T Bolt Well-Known Member

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    #6 T Bolt, Jan 8, 2016
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2016
    Maybe the nav lamps switch from red to green depending on which direction it's flying in. :lol:
     
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  7. Gnomey

    Gnomey World Travelling Doctor
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    I still think I'd prefer a small aircraft or helicopter than that.

    You can see why it would be banned if you don't need a licence to fly it...
     
  8. mikewint

    mikewint Well-Known Member

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    Silly question: Who flies it?
     
  9. pbehn

    pbehn Well-Known Member

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    What is Chinese for footman or butler?
     
  10. mikewint

    mikewint Well-Known Member

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    If the person inside flies it then it really isn't a drone, right?
     
  11. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

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    According to the PR blurb etc, it's computer-programmed by the 'passenger', who can then sit back and 'enjoy the flight'.
    Fine, but what happens if/when an obstruction is encountered, or a course deviation required for any reason ?
    I like the idea (and to be honest, I'd like one !), but I think some form of manual control, or at least over-ride is required - which then means instruction in it's use, and a pilot's licence, probably rotary wing, is required.
    Given the relatively low cost of the machine, even if 'normal' flight rules and licences are required, then it's not a bad bit of kit - if the above 'manual' control is incorporated.
     
  12. tyrodtom

    tyrodtom Well-Known Member

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    $200,000-$300,000 is a relatively low cost for a 1 passenger aircraft with a 23 minute endurance ???
     
  13. Shinpachi

    Shinpachi Well-Known Member

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    #13 Shinpachi, Jan 9, 2016
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2016
    A good looking machine but I think they only want to take our attention as they usually do by launching a magnificent-look project regardless whether it can be realized or not.
    In last July, China launched a big girls unit "56 Flowers" declaring proudly "This will beat Japanese AKB48 soon!" but no more news are coming up since then.
    We have a proverb "Saying is always free of charge" and my new proverb will be "Listen to them well but do not waste your time".
    I don't hate the 56 Flowers though.


    View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_METBXaluUI
     
  14. Wildcat

    Wildcat Well-Known Member

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    Made in China... good luck ever getting me in one.
     
  15. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

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    Must admit, I hadn't noticed the flight endurance time !
    I was thinking in terms of the cost of a small, 2 seat helicopter, such as the Robinson, and its running costs - more expensive than the drone appears to be.
    As Shinpachi noted though, it looks good, but we'll probably never see it again. However, I would think that similar, manually controlled vehicles, with bigger capacity and a realistic flight endurance, will come along at some time in the future - probably from Japan.
     
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  16. mikewint

    mikewint Well-Known Member

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    Me seemeth to me that we're back to the flying car concept. Consider todays traffic and accidents and all the cretins out there that cant control their vehicles in two dimensions. Do you really want gammy and gampap plus teeny-bopper and one-more-for-the-road zooming around in three dimensions over your house. We can't automate 2-D highways yet
     
  17. GrauGeist

    GrauGeist Well-Known Member

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    #17 GrauGeist, Jan 10, 2016
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2016
    dunno Mike, I think they (the Chinese) are on the right track.

    *IF* this mode of transportation were to be used, I suspect it will be at a time when specific corridors (flight routes) would be established, that these "hover cars" would follow - altitude, corridor, ingress/egress corridor traffic and flight spacing.

    At the present time, these can't be arbitrarily "flown" like an automobile and are intended to follow the path that the GPS dictates (no cutting through parking lots, no flying across private property, etc.) sort of like current GPS does for driving routes.

    The only foreseeable problem, would be congestion if they were allowed to be privately owned, instead of being commercial like a Taxi service or airport/venue shuttle.
     
  18. gumbyk

    gumbyk Well-Known Member

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    You've obviously never seen a Chinese aircraft... Or done business in China. A good rule for doing business in China seems to be that if you beat them down on price, they'll just match the quality to the price you pay.

    The NZ Rules will allow this sort of operation, as long as you have a way to integrate it into the traffic safely, which as far as I'm aware hasn't been demonstrated, even with military drones. I think this will be their biggest hurdle.

    That and those props don't look big enough.
     
  19. mikewint

    mikewint Well-Known Member

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    #19 mikewint, Jan 10, 2016
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2016
    Dave unless and until anything of this ilk can be automated with multiple fail-safes, I don't see it happening. Initially cars were tough to start, stop, and steer and roads were dirt tracks. Only a few were capable of even starting the old T's and the 1:1 steering was a bear to control. Thus a small market. In order to sell more vehicles and attract the less capable, manufactures made vehicles easier to start (electric starting), stop, steer (power), enclosed bodies with heat and air-conditioning, entertainment systems (cause getting there alive isn't enough to prevent boredom). Not enough: well we now have vehicles that park themselves (God knows how difficult it is to back AND make two turns); vehicles that look back and to the side (very difficult to TURN your head before pulling out or to look BEHIND you before backing); Keyless locks and ignition (gomer can't remember where he put the keys an hour ago), AND vehicles that stop themselves (heck, you really don't expect me to continually look FORWARD, too, do you). Heck, if you can wipe the drool off your chin you too can have 2000lbs of steel going down the road at 70mph. Thus:
    In 2014, 32,719 people died in car accidents. These are what you want zooming around in another dimension?

    Look at small aircraft the "general aviation" category. There are multiple regulations controlling pilots and aircraft maintenance in addition to a nation-wide control and tracking system yet in 2014, while no one died on a US commercial carrier, 252 died in small, privately owned aircraft. Doesn't sound like very many compared to cars, but consider that in 2013 there were roughly 200,000 General Aviation craft to 256,000,000 registered vehicles, 185,000,000 of them passenger cars. Roughly 925 more cars than planes. Applying that data to these drones we'd expect that with auto drivers zooming around in the 3rd dimension with their drones we'd expect to see 233,100 deaths from crashes.
     
  20. pbehn

    pbehn Well-Known Member

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    does no one else see a CoG issue with this toy, any loss of lift anywhere will have it wanting to start rolling, a loss of a rotor only feet off the ground would land you on your head.
     
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