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Thread: Where Have All the EAB Aircraft Gone?

  1. #51
    rwanttaja's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FlyingRon View Post
    They say that planes take after their owners
    Lemme see... my Fly Baby is old, creaky, drags its tail, and there's stuff oozing out of the cowling staining its belly.

    Ron "It's like a self-portrait" Wanttaja

  2. #52
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    Quote Originally Posted by CHICAGORANDY View Post
    "
    if someone with a baby suddenly steps out in front of your fast moving car, and the only two options are hit them or swerve head on into a semi, which is the correct action? "
    Is that the same baby my flight instructor kept seeing on the runway while I was trying to land? It's still around? I guess I bounced over it.

  3. #53
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    Quote Originally Posted by rwanttaja View Post
    Well, I don't disagree with you very much.

    I *do* think we're on the verge of a major surge in General Aviation. But the nature of the surge is going to xxxx-off many of the current devotees.

    We're going to see the rise of autonomous GA aircraft...personal air transportation that require little or no skill on behalf of the operator. The operator can climb in, set a destination, and the vehicle will fly to that place to discharge the occupants. The operators will not have to learn the arcane skills necessary for control of elevator, aileron, rudder, and throttle to reach a destination. The vehicle will do it all.

    And if such vehicles DO become available, most of the objections of the (current) non-pilot public will be moot. No need to learn about stall speeds and climb attitudes. The aircraft will handle everything. No talking on the radio or dealing with ATC. The aircraft will coordinate its flight automatically using an ADS-B-like system. No need to learn emergency procedures. The vehicle will sense when problems occur and trigger a BRS.

    Mind you, the current pilots will scream bloody murder......

    The parallel is with sailing ships. The windjammer sailors ~170 years ago screamed bloody murder when motorized vessels came along. Yet, eventually, it was decided that the Master of a steam ship did not need to understand the care and feeding of a ship propelled by the wind. Today, the vast majority of boatowners have a motor...and sails are used only recreationally, by those who wish to learn and cherish obsolete skills.

    Ron Wanttaja
    I feel like a Luddite for disagreeing with you Ron, but I just don't see this happening. It's not that the technology isn't there; the problem is that the efficiency isn't there. It's the old flying car problem, and it doesn't get much better by putting four propellers on it and an automated control system. Yes, the crowd that is currently commuting in helicopters might get a BlackFly instead, but its still going to be more expensive than just driving on four wheels unless science can bend the laws of physics sufficiently to repeal gravity. Lifting four modern humans off the ground, moving them X number of miles--probably in an urban environment--and depositing them back down takes a lot more energy than just putting those same four folks in a car, gas or electric, and wheeling them there. GA isn't that much more difficult than driving; it's just far less efficient in people/mile-gallon than an airliner. In a contest of convenience versus cost, cost (aka efficiency) usually wins in the end.

    Now I DO believe we're going to see a huge increase in automated drone traffic soon, as Amazon and everybody else seems to want to get into the last-mile package delivery service by air. I'm skeptical that in the long run these will be any more efficient (in units of successful package delivery / dollar) than a UPS truck, but I guess we'll find out. I'm not willing to bet against Amazon yet, but BlackFly, I'll believe it when I see it.

  4. #54
    Airmutt's Avatar
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    Too much blind faith put into “trusted” technology. We bought a newly constructed home just over a month ago. Our address is not in the GPS database (yet). Those who try to GPS their way to our place end up about 70 miles in the wrong place despite telling folks follow my directions not the GPS.
    Agree the air vehicle technology isn’t there yet either. I talked to the Blackfly folks last year and there were a lot of questions they couldn’t or wouldn’t answer regarding performance and failure modes. IMO they were kind of flying under the radar under the guise of being a Part 103 craft (which they could only meet by claiming to be water capable).
    Didn’t make it to AV so admittedly kinda out of touch with their progress. Also not that thrilled that EAA put one in the museum, just don’t think it’s earned a place yet.
    Dave Shaw
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  5. #55
    rwanttaja's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Airmutt View Post
    Too much blind faith put into ďtrustedĒ technology. We bought a newly constructed home just over a month ago. Our address is not in the GPS database (yet). Those who try to GPS their way to our place end up about 70 miles in the wrong place despite telling folks follow my directions not the GPS.
    I bought a new car last year, the first in over ten years. It has all the modern bells and whistles...onboard radar tied to the cruise control to hold a given distance from the car in front, optical sensors to warn you if the car leaves its lane (or automatically keep in there, if you wish), automatic emergency braking.

    And, of course, the lane-monitor whines if the lines on the road get too faint, the lane keeper has a bad habit of subtly turning off or following the lines of the wrong exits, the "pending crash" sensor pops the brakes momentarily if a car comes around the curve in the opposite direction in a particular spot on a nearby road, and hates, absolutely hates, the automatic door that lets me out of the airport.

    My wife's new car has all of that, plus all-aspect sensors to warn if objects get too close. This means putting the car in the garage brings a medley of flashing displays and beeping.

    Then again, the automatic nav systems on some cars seem to work well enough that the "drivers" feel confident enough to take naps (and, of course, have suffered enough failures of their own).

    I'm not saying the automated airplanes are going to hit the market next year, or even next decade. But they's a'coming.

    Ron "Guide us, Landru" Wanttaja

  6. #56

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    Quote Originally Posted by Airmutt View Post
    Also not that thrilled that EAA put one in the museum, just don’t think it’s earned a place yet.
    My thought also.

  7. #57
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    Quote Originally Posted by Airmutt View Post
    Too much blind faith put into “trusted” technology. We bought a newly constructed home just over a month ago. Our address is not in the GPS database (yet). Those who try to GPS their way to our place end up about 70 miles in the wrong place despite telling folks follow my directions not the GPS.
    Agree the air vehicle technology isn’t there yet either. I talked to the Blackfly folks last year and there were a lot of questions they couldn’t or wouldn’t answer regarding performance and failure modes. IMO they were kind of flying under the radar under the guise of being a Part 103 craft (which they could only meet by claiming to be water capable).
    Didn’t make it to AV so admittedly kinda out of touch with their progress. Also not that thrilled that EAA put one in the museum, just don’t think it’s earned a place yet.
    Speaking of the GPS, I really like using it, I wonder how I managed to travel all over the country working construction with just my road atlas. I got my first GPS in 2009 and used it until I got a smart phone 4 years ago. It led me to places I didn't want to go, it said my destination was on the left, when it was actually on the right and it took me through neighborhoods when it could have taken me on a much easier and quicker route. When I first got my GPS I was in St. Louis, Mo. I didn't realize I needed to actually look at it occasionally and would end up in the wrong lane in traffic and it would have to re-route me several times. So much so, it just locked down and I had to pull over, turn it off and wait. When I turned it back on, it started speaking German ! WTH ! I still keep a current road atlas in my truck. OH, and I ain't afraid to stop and ask for directions ! Technology ! If I didn't need electricity to watch TV, I'd just watch it by candle light.
    Bob

  8. #58
    Airmutt's Avatar
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    Speaking of ghosts in the machine.....
    Once worked a flight test program where the customer defined most of the avionics including the FMS and autopilot. While demonstrating an lefthand orbiting rendezvous intercept the ship turned right to enter the pattern. Which proves if you turn right long enough eventually you’ve turned left! Nobody believed it until I played back the data. Never could get it to repeat.
    Dave Shaw
    EAA 67180 Lifetime
    Learn to Build, Build to Fly, Fly for Fun

  9. #59
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    Quote Originally Posted by rwanttaja View Post
    I bought a new car last year, the first in over ten years.

    8<...

    I'm not saying the automated airplanes are going to hit the market next year, or even next decade. But they's a'coming.
    My wife's 2017 Volvo has a radar cruise control and lane departure warnings. Actually, they turn out to be "Hey, dummy, remember to use your turn signals" warnings, but I digress. Her vehicle is absolutely wonderful. It's not self-driving, but I can engage the cruise control in town and let it do nearly all the throttle and brake work. The only thing I don't like is that it tends to leave way to much gap when departing from a stop light. It's really quite good.

    A few months ago, I gave in to temporary insanity and bought a 2007 Mercedes S600. If you've never driven a twin turbocharged V12 that develops over 600 lb-ft of torque... and will gently warm or cool and massage your back and the backs of your passengers as you approach the sound barrier... well, you need to. Anyway, it has a much earlier radar cruise control. Also pretty good, for being ten years older, but you can definitely tell the difference. The Mercedes will occasionally try to panic-stop when it sees something that confuses it, and things like blind spot sensors, lane departure warning, lane following, automatic self parking, etc. didn't come along for a few more years.

    My long awaited point is, where there's demand, there's technological advancement. Right now that demand is heaviest in the automotive arena... check out the new Dominos autonomous delivery vehicles. Some of that development brainpower and money is shifting and we're going to see a few decades of crazy advances in flight as well, starting with automating things like delivery, inspections, etc. to reduce the need for expensive butts in expensive seats. It's the economic driver. Where there's money to be made developing autonomous flying machines, it will happen. Where there's no money to be made, nothing much will happen.
    Measure twice, cut once...
    scratch head, shrug, shim to fit.

    Flying an RV-12. Building a Fisher Celebrity.

  10. #60

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    As an aero engineer, airplane automation is much, much easier than automobiles. There are currently $BB in getting flying cars going. As mentioned, though, physics won't change no matter how many $$$ are thrown at the problem. It is possible that a tilt wing, tilt rotor or tilt pod will make a go of it ... on one or both of the coasts where the population density is high (NY to DC, LA to SFO, etc.). Those vehicles can get in and out of small places yet have speed to get somewhere. Time is money. Similar to business jets, these will be business tools, saving corporate money. I know it sounds absurd, but CEO salaries (agree or not) are VERY, VERY high. The cost of a flight is relatively cheap.

    If nothing else happens, replacing piston engines will be a huge improvement and a possible reason for a total replacement of the current flying fleet ... more likely both will exist for a long time.

    Ron "More than My Two Cents" Blum

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