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Tosspot

Personal Flying Machines

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60 Minutes ran a story tonight about NASA (Nass-holes) developing an experimental air traffic highway network that would accomodate personal flying vehicles, as multiple private firms jockey simultaneously to assemble and market the most viable personal flying machine.

Of course, the first thing I wonder is "How will this affect cities and towns?" as obviously storage of these personal flying machines would be required. It would probably exacerbate sprawl and the proliferation of a transit-centered look-alike built environment, much the same that the personal automobile conduced, though obviously this will take a more grand scale.

And need I reiterate that the further we concentrate on getting from point A to point B in the most efficient means possible, the sooner point A and point B loose all sense of place and autonomous identity. That's why I'm trepidatious over this whole concept.

And I can already hear Jim Kunstler intoning feverishly about the "clueless masses" who believe petrol-induced personal transportation for the great unwashed hordes will continue uninterrupted. Though it could be possible that these "personal flying machines" could be powered by something different.

One option put forth was to have a sort of helicopter-like craft that could land on helipads on top of buildings, or also fold up it's protrusions and work like a regular car on the ground.

So, has American society learned it's lessons from centering our lives around the automobile? No. And that's why poppycock ideas like this proliferate.

http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2005/04/15/...ain688454.shtml

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Thats interesting. The articles talks about needing a helipad though, so there will be some limitations. Also, I seriously doubt some people's ablility to navigate in 3 dimensions. I don't think it will change sprawl unless they can make it more fuel effecient than a car. That said, its kind of cool to think that "Back to the Future" isnt that far off.

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