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Lilium, the plane electric drone taxi flies away!

Unread Messageby Christophe » 05/09/17, 14:42

First videos in flight of the prototype of the Lilium, the "plane-drone" future taxi flying interesting enough in its concept!

Obviously it is radio-controlled on the video (which dates from spring)





The performances announced seem to me a little optimistic ... but the project is interesting, very ...

And they just raised ... 90 Million Euros! https://business.lesechos.fr/entreprene ... 312720.php
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Re: Lilium, the drone electric taxi plane flies away!

Unread Messageby Opale2sang » 06/09/17, 06:35

Bonjour.
If it's true, it's a pretty proto, but say it could be used in town ...
There remains the problem of a possible breakdown and a fall, because even with a parachute the device remains dangerous.
Imagine the sky filled with his machines, even with an autopilot, some would be able to tweak and then imagine if someone uses it as a weapon.

Not really I do not believe in the mass marketing of this kind of devices especially in town.
Or in any case I do not see how to secure the trick satisfactorily in our modern cities.

Best regards.
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Re: Lilium, the drone electric taxi plane flies away!

Unread Messageby izentrop » 06/09/17, 07:43

Hello,
You are right for optimistic performances, the proto flight without load, not even a person on board. https://lilium.com/
No information on payload?

Now that they have gotten their lead, the rest is likely to be delayed : Wink:
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Re: Lilium, the drone electric taxi plane flies away!

Unread Messageby Christophe » 10/10/17, 17:50

An article criticizes the impossibility of a democratization of taxi drones ... by a researcher of MIT ...

Why "air taxis" will not work

Carlo Ratti, researcher at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, explains why this old dream, on which companies are already working, is problematic.

THE WORLD | 09.10.2017 to 16h12

Few modern machines have generated as much enthusiasm as drones. Annual sales in the United States are expected to reach seven million 2020 devices, and many are already predicting a future in which drones would redesign our cities - with remote-controlled deliveries, airborne surveillance and other unplanned applications.

Our collective imagination has seized one of their possibilities: the mobility of people. Will drones soon be able to transport people to the skies of our cities? Will flying taxis one day pull us out of our garden to let us down delicately in front of a cinema or our favorite restaurant?

Before thinking of hailing an air taxi, let's take a look at what urban skies would really mean, swarming with miniature helicopter swarms, carrying passengers to their next destination. If UAVs will have many uses in the future, I do not think that the transport of people over our cities can or should be one of them.

An old fantasy

The dream of unmanned air transport is not new. When Fritz Lang imagines the urban environment of Metropolis, his groundbreaking film of 1927, he fills the sky with dizzying towers and flying machines. In the early 1960 years, the Hanna-Barbera animation studio produced the Jetsons, a cartoon series that follows the escapades of a futuristic family of average Americans. In the opening credits, the family cruises the sky of Orbit City in a flying car, which George, the father, eventually folds into the briefcase that he takes to the office. In 1982, also flying police cars, the spinners, appear in the famous sci-fi film Blade Runner.

Today, a version of such a fictional future seems at hand. Uber invests in its flying car technology. Earlier this year, Airbus launched Pop.Up, a vertical take-off and landing vehicle dedicated to individual mobility. Engaged in an adventure that promises "theft for everyone", the German start-up Volocopter has designed a miniature helicopter at 18 rotors whose first test flights are taking place this autumn in Dubai.

All this suggests that urban drones will soon crisscross the skies of their cities like George Jetson, is not it? Error ! Despite large investments and even bigger promises, there are practical and physical reasons why it is highly unlikely that our cities will ever fill up with aerial vehicles.

Noise, turbulence and risk

Let's first consider physics. Anyone who has been near a helicopter taking off will understand that it takes some energy to lift a heavy object vertically into the air. The drone rotors are only big fans, pushing the air towards there to create an upward propulsion. It is not possible to climb vertically in the air without causing significant turbulence and noise.

The people of New York know it well. Protests against the noise pollution of one of the main heliports of the city led to the strengthening of the regulations applied to the organizers of airborne excursions. Yet even before the new legislation, there were fewer 5 000 tourist flights per month. Imagine that the eight million people take the air even once a month: the city would become unbearable.

Other factors that may temper enthusiasm are technological. Even if drone batteries are drastically improved in order to extend their range, the multitude of vehicles needed to transport large numbers of people overhead would pose tremendous risks to our safety. Modern cars can be dangerous, but a battery failure or the breaking of a rotor blade on a flying cab could cause a heavy vehicle to fall over a densely populated area. And we do not yet know whether it will be possible to protect these drones from hackers, terrorists and other criminals, nor how air traffic control systems can safely guide passengers.

Other functions for drones

Drones will transform the lives of future populations, their businesses and their interactions. Small devices have already proven their ability in various areas, from delivering humanitarian aid to security. UAVs play geographical barriers without the need for heavy physical infrastructure, and can connect remote communities with the rest of the world. In Brazil, for example, the government is deploying drones equipped with cameras to inspect remote agricultural producers, suspected of not respecting the labor code. And drones already control the air quality or provide help in cases of medical emergency. But urban mobility is not an appropriate field of application for unmanned aircraft technology. The problems posed by urban transport can be solved by keeping the feet on the ground, and even firmly. With the improvement of digital networks and real-time data transmission, autonomous cars, trucks and boats - like Roboat, which my colleagues and I are trying to prototype on the Amsterdam canals - can be fast and efficient enough to meet all our needs. Not to mention that if we stay on the ground, new infrastructure networks, such as the expensive "vertiport", are no longer needed. If the old dream of flying cars crisscrossing the skies of cities fascinates, this vision will remain in the realm of science fiction.

Carlo Ratti is an engineer, architect, and teacher-researcher at MIT. He is the director of the MIT Senseable Lab, a reference laboratory dedicated to urban innovations.


http://www.lemonde.fr/smart-cities/arti ... 11534.html
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Re: Lilium, the drone electric taxi plane flies away!

Unread Messageby Grelinette » 11/10/17, 22:37

Yeah .... I can not say if the UAV will come because there are a lot of parameters that will affect its development (some of which we do not know yet), but I'm not agree with the arguments put forward by Carlo Ratti to explain why the drone transporting people will remain science fiction.

When the first motorized plane took off (Clement Ader, 1890), if we said at the time: "in just a hundred years, there will be airplanes full of sky, and some will carry hundreds of passengers. .. "we would have laughed and qualify these words of science fiction.

In the same way, to suppose that the drones will not be able to fly in number in town because of the noise, it is a little as if one had said "the plane will not be able to develop because of the pollution which it produces!". ..
The argument of nuisance produced by an innovation is based on common sense, and the man is not really the most common sense!
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Re: Lilium, the drone electric taxi plane flies away!

Unread Messageby chatelot16 » 12/10/17, 20:55

if we had really said that there would one day be a plane as big as the airbus a380 I'm sure he would have answered: that's why I took the first step! there will be more

the problem of the drone for one person is the impossibility of sharing the air space safely ... on each occasion there will be accidents

we already have a hard time making electric cars profitable ... to make electric helicopters we are not there yet ... and christening drone does not change anything
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Re: Lilium, the drone electric taxi plane flies away!

Unread Messageby Christophe » 22/01/18, 17:55

The analyzes of P. Langlois on "flying shuttles":

Electric shuttles, a convergence of technologies

Written by Pierre Langlois
The 23 / 01 / 2017

There are at least four different technologies, other than battery chemistry, that are expected to mature in the next decade and facilitate the advent of electric powered shuttles. A paradigm shift on the horizon.

Robotic driving

Already, autonomous electric cars are a reality. The improvement of the sensors (radars, lidars, sonars, digital cameras), the very important decrease of their cost, the constant increase of the computing power of the processors, the precision of the GPS and the connectivity between the vehicles are at the origin of the rapid growth of robotic driving.

As road regulations allow, more and more segments of driving will integrate robotics. At first, highway driving and parking, then urban driving, more complex.

This same robotic driving will obviously apply to electric flying shuttles (NVE), and to reassure many readers, for the NVE to become a reality, there will be no question of allowing total freedom in the movements of these aircraft and to produce a cacophony above our heads. It is certain that we will create traffic corridors, a bit like virtual highways. There will be no intersection of trajectories because the movements in different directions will be at different heights in the sky. And the NVE will talk to each other to avoid potential collisions.

Moreover, to limit the number of NVEs in the sky, it will be important to focus on public transport for these aircraft, which makes sense also at the economic level, since these NVE will not be given and that we will be interested in using them for more than an hour a day.

Ultra-light and ultra-efficient range extender

Currently, the company Ehang is developing a NVE that can carry two passengers and fly at 100 km / h for about twenty minutes on a full charge of its battery. And, as we saw in my last post, for fast intercity transport, one would need NVEs capable of reaching 150 km / h for one hour.

It would therefore quadruple the energy density of the batteries if you fill up the 100 km, recharging or exchanging the battery in specially designed heliports. This recharge would be done during a stop of about 5 minutes to get up or down passengers.

A decrease of an 2 factor of the weight of the batteries seems achievable within ten years, but an 4 factor could take 20 years. Never mind, we can always add an ultra-lightweight and ultra-efficient range extender that consumes advanced biofuel (next section).

Such a range extender is currently under development by the company Liquid Piston, and I spoke about it recently in my 19 December 2016 ticket. Much lighter than a traditional combustion engine, this company's rotary engines are 30% more efficient than a diesel engine!

Advanced biodiesel emitting significantly less GHGs

The Finnish company Neste has developed a synthetic diesel fuel made from vegetable oils, very similar to petroleum diesel. This new advanced biodiesel can mix in all proportions with petroleum diesel, up to 100% biodiesel, and presents no problem in very cold weather, which is not the case of traditional biodiesel. In addition, no modifications must be made to the engines of the vehicles. This is called a "drop-in" biofuel in the English literature. Finally, this advanced biofuel Neste burns more cleanly and can reduce up to 90% greenhouse gas (GHG), according to a recent article by Green Car Congress.

Moreover, in the electronic magazine Les Affaires, François Normand told us, the 17 January 2017, of a $ 1 $ project to set up a biorefinery in La Tuque, Quebec, in 2023. It would produce advanced biodiesel from forest residues, using the Neste process, which is a partner. A non-profit organization, Bioénergie La Tuque (BELT) was set up to pilot this project.

Instead of using vegetable oil from oil plants or recycled vegetable oils (food industry), bio-oil would be produced using a portable pyrolytic reactor that would be moved over the countless kilometers of roadways. wood of the region (the city of La Tuque is as big as Belgium). The bio-oil would be sent to the biorefinery, greatly reducing the costs of collecting biomass. They are in preliminary studies that should lead to a pilot biorefinery eventually if the preliminary results are conclusive. Then we would build a commercial plant at La Tuque, for 2023 hopefully.

New ultra resistant and ultra light materials

If we manage to reduce the weight of the NVE structure, it is the equivalent of reducing the weight of the batteries. However, MIT researchers have just announced the discovery of a new graphene material structured in a three-dimensional network, which is 20 times lighter than steel and 10 times more resistant! If we manage to produce it on a large scale at a competitive price, it is a real revolution on the horizon, especially for aeronautics.

What MIT researchers knew at the beginning was the importance of the shape of materials to increase their mechanical strength, in addition to their intrinsic strength of course. For example, a sheet of paper offering very little structural strength, sees this resistance increase much if it is rolled. Similarly a flat sheet of steel is much less resistant than a corrugated sheet. So they looked for 3D shapes with the greatest resistance. To help them in this process, the researchers produced several plastic forms using an 3D printer and tested their resistance. The illustration below shows one of the most promising forms they have tested.

Conclusion

In summary, the use of a 30 range extender more efficient than a diesel engine, which would consume advanced biodiesel emitting much less GHG (over its life cycle), for 30% 50% of kilometers ( the rest of the mileage would be electric), is a solution that would make functional NVE with only a factor of two reduction of the weight of current Li-ion batteries, from 10 to 15 years. Especially if we use ultralight and ultra resistant materials.

Let's not forget also that we aim for fast inter-urban public transport and that consuming a little advanced biofuel for a part of the kilometers offers a transient alternative that is entirely acceptable. Not to mention that a range extender provides redundancy for the power source, which increases security.


http://roulezelectrique.com/les-navette ... hnologies/
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Re: Lilium, the drone electric taxi plane flies away!

Unread Messageby Christophe » 07/02/18, 11:49

The Bell Helicopter Flying Taxi Project: https://www.lesechos.fr/industrie-servi ... 151180.php

And already a hashtag: #BellAirTaxi

Competitor of Airbus and its Vahana, Bell Helicopter, which has partnered with Uber Technologies, confirms its ambitions.

The next frontier of urban mobility is the sky. And, in the struggle to conquer the "smart cities" of tomorrow, the pioneers go for blow. Hardly has Airbus just announced its first successful test flight for its single-seater UAV, Vahana, which its American rival - and dolphin on the helicopter market, Bell Helicopter (Textron group), confirms its ambitions for flying taxis.

Uber partner in its urban air taxi project, the American group unveiled the cabin of its prototype aircraft landing and vertical takeoff (Adaf) in early January in Las Vegas, at the Consumer Electronics show Show.

"The Flying Taxi is the next step in our industry, and we are looking to be sure to count among the disruptors who think what should be the transportation in the next 10-20," said Patrick Moulay, Executive Vice President sales and international marketing of Bell Helicopter, in an interview with Bloomberg Television on the sidelines of the Singapore Air Show. And to clarify: "We will not see a taxi fly tomorrow, but this perspective is much closer than people think."
Read also

What is the deadline? "In countries like Indonesia, and in New York, the technology already exists and some customers are using an app to book helicopters. For the air taxi, we think that by 2020, or maybe 2025, we will see the first vehicles fly, "continued Patrick Moulay.

Announced marketing for 2023

(...)


# BellAirTaxi.jpg
# BellAirTaxi.jpg (63.8 Kio) Viewed 809 times
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Re: Lilium, the drone electric taxi plane flies away!

Unread Messageby Grelinette » 11/02/18, 21:51

Maybe French Franky Zapata will soon announce his machine flying in several places? ...

After the presentation Flyboard Air,



then lately from Flyride



and EZFLY



... a local rumor is about the latest invention of Franky Zapata, already ready in his workshops: the flying car !

It should be unveiled in a few months to the public ... but perhaps not in France: apparently the French authorities put sticks in the wheels turbines, but the Americans would welcome him with open arms!

Car Racing Projects in a Virtual 3D Corridor Will Be Under Consideration for US ...

In any case, this genius designs flying machines with incredible performances and this rumor of a flying car seems credible!

Wait and see ...
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Re: Lilium, the drone electric taxi plane flies away!

Unread Messageby Christophe » 24/05/18, 03:00

RATP supports a taxi drone project ... until where? Mystery...

https://www.lesechos.fr/tech-medias/hig ... 177621.php

The Ile-de-France transport group multiplies collaborations with start-ups to monitor the emergence of new mobility and will demonstrate it at Vivatech.

By hosting on its booth EVA (Electric Visionary Aircraft), a young Toulouse push that aims to develop a service of flying taxis, the RATP is sure to talk about it during the 2018 edition of the Viva Technology Show (co-organized by " Les Echos "and Publicis), to be held in Paris from 24 to 26 May. Especially since a full size prototype will be visible at the entrance of the show, even if it will be necessary to wait until the end of the year to see it in flight.

RATP is not a shareholder of EVA and does not intend to become one, at least in the short term. But cooperation and partnerships can be envisaged between the start-up and the large Ile-de-France group. "In terms of technology, they are interested in our acoustics skills," explains Marie-Claude Dupuis, RATP Director of Strategy and Innovation.

Laying the groundwork for the future

And the commercial side, the company sets the stage for the future, when this new mode of transport will be mature enough to be integrated into the service offerings to major cities in Southeast Asia at first.

In the meantime, this is a nice com 'coup, which allows the RATP to shake his image, and to show a focus on young shoots much more assertive than in the past. Created a little over a year ago, the subsidiary dedicated to investing in start-ups has seen its budget increased from 15 to 30 million euros, and has already made 4 equity investments.

By putting a foot on Communauto (carsharing), Klaxit (car-to-work commuting), or Cityscoot, whose self-service electric scooters are springing up in the Paris region and in France, RATP is slowly becoming a base of solutions. in the new mobilities, aware that it can not be content to curl up on its core business.

Do not limit yourself to a transport offer

The company does not want to limit itself to offering transport offers. "We want to be the preferred partner of sustainable cities. This is an ambition that goes beyond the mere provision of mobility services, "summarizes Marie-Claude Dupuis. With the conversion of 80% of its bus fleet to an electric powertrain by 2025, RATP is for example setting up an experiment in the deployment of the infrastructures necessary for the supply of the depots, which should interest other agglomerations thereafter. Its know-how in energy saving (it claims to have been in January "the first multimodal carrier in the world to be ISO50001 certified") is also an asset to be fruitful, with the cities, but also for get closer to some young shoots.
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