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    • CommentAuthorKosmopolit
    • CommentTimeJan 22nd 2010 edited
    The Puffin

    Seriously, you built an electric powered, ultraquiet one-person plane that can land and take off from a suburban backyard and cruise at 100 MPH and you call it The Puffin?

    Edited to fix a typo.
    • CommentAuthorFan
    • CommentTimeJan 22nd 2010
    It looks neat! But "the cruising speed of the Puffin is expected to be 240 kph, with spurts of 480 kph possible": 1000 MPH would be supersonic.
  1.  (7618.3)
    Dude, it’s NASA. Those guys are the nerds weren’t even cool enough to play D&D.
    • CommentAuthorOxbrow
    • CommentTimeJan 22nd 2010 edited
    If I learned one thing from childhood trips to the Bass Rock, it's that puffins are totally hardcore cliffdiving badasses. :D
  2.  (7618.5)
    I think 'Puffin' is quite apt for it. It wouldn't really suit an uber-macho name like 'The SkyFucker', or 'The ThunderCock-Eagle' would it?
  3.  (7618.6)
    There's really nothing stopping you from buying one and naming it "The ThunderCock-Eagle", either. Get that written on the side, maybe have a little picture, though I shudder to think of what.

    In all seriousness, that thing looks like something out of Challengers of the Unknown or Thunderbirds, and I'm all about tooling around the skies in Jeff Tracy-esque bits of machinery.
    • CommentTimeJan 22nd 2010
    of course it will never come out...
    • CommentTimeJan 22nd 2010
    I'd rather it be called that as opposed to something unnecessarily lame and action-movie like "THE SKYFALCON" or something like that.
    • CommentAuthorKosmopolit
    • CommentTimeJan 22nd 2010
    "It looks neat! But "the cruising speed of the Puffin is expected to be 240 kph, with spurts of 480 kph possible": 1000 MPH would be supersonic. "

    Typo: should have been 100 MPH.
    • CommentAuthorKosmopolit
    • CommentTimeJan 22nd 2010 edited
    Alastair raises a valid point.

    The design of the Puffin was unveiled on January 20 by NASA aerospace engineer Mark Moore, at a meeting of the American Helicopter Society in San Francisco. A one-third scale demonstration model is expected to be finished by March this year, after which time they will concentrate on the transition between cruise flight and hovering.

    So it's still vaporware at this point.

    The initial range is expected to be only 80 KM/50 miles.

    And here's no mention of cost.

    Besides those technical problems there are all the social ones:

    Do we want drunk drivers sharing the same airspace as passenger jets?

    Walls and fences will become pretty much worthy as a form of security

    No more topless bathing by the backyard pool.

    Even if the technology works these may end up confined to a few specialist niches - the armed forces; couriers, law enforcement, search and rescue etc.

    But if you could combine this with some really smart and highly secure piloting software and the cost came own enough this really could do all the things that it was claimed the Segway could do.
  4.  (7618.11)
    The article also didn't mention how long a standard outlet would take to charge the battery back up to full after it's been drained fully.
    • CommentAuthorKosmopolit
    • CommentTimeJan 22nd 2010
    They could always adopt the Project Better Place fast battery-switching approach.
    • CommentTimeJan 22nd 2010
    Ooh, I'll put it on my World Domination Wishlist, right after NAO Design's Badonkadonk personal tank (available through Amazon for the low price of $19,999.95!!!)
    • CommentTimeJan 22nd 2010
  5.  (7618.15)
    Hmm. Reminds me of the V-22 Osprey...

  6.  (7618.16)
    The upright take-off thing puts me in mind of the Lerche, but then Wikipedia goes and tells me that some companies were experimenting with that sort of design in the '50s, too.

    The Lockheed XFV seems to be the closest one to the Puffin, design-wise.
    • CommentTimeJan 23rd 2010
    See, the whole area of personal flight is a bit strange to me. Unless they're made fully automatic, you cannot expect the majority of people to be able to fly one safely. You can't expect the majority of people to drive a CAR safely, and yet 90% of men in a survey considered their driving skills to be "above average" (I have no citation for this, but the gist of it is practically brimming with truth).

    I'd LOVE to have a flying car at some point, who WOULDN'T?! However, in a world where so much emphasis is being put on lowering carbon footprints and making transportation efficient, I can't see how this is going to happen any time soon. We've (Not us personally, of course) spent all these resources putting roads all over the fucking place, it's not very likely they'll go any time soon.

    However, VTOL public transport isn't an impossible prospect. Once the fuel efficiency and the safety is ironed out, I don't see why we couldn't have Sky High-style buses flying about. Also, the people driving them would have special licenses, just like you'd have to drive a normal bus, so you can be sure they'd be safe drivers, and the airways wouldn't be littered with screaming ape-men cussing each other out for not knowing how to fly.

    That having been said, the Puffin really does look quite a bit like the puffin.

    I'd recommend checking out James May's Big Ideas for a look through VTOL madness and flying cars. They even mention the Moller Skycar, the poster-child of flying car pipedreams.
  7.  (7618.18)
    Am I really the only person thinking up designs for The ThunderCock-Eagle?
    • CommentAuthorSteadyUP
    • CommentTimeJan 24th 2010
    "People are gonna die in these things." - some NASA guy on MSNBC
  8.  (7618.20)
    Am I really the only person thinking up designs for The ThunderCock-Eagle?

    Yes. Because I am now too busy dreaming of The SEX-HAWK! The INSEMNIRAPTOR! The EJACUVULCAN! The THRUST-PYTHON!

    The police will be all over these, especially in the UK where we're all about to be watched 24/7 from orbit.