August 18, 2004
~ Fly With Me, Into the Future ~ is carrying this summary of recent initiatives in the private aviation field. The first is an update on the evergreen "flying car" idea, which will (IMO) never work en-masse. We have 40,000-odd people die on our highways each year, and they're only flying a few inches off the ground. On tires. Can you imagine ten thousand of your fellow commuters rocketing along at 200+ mph 5,000 feet off the ground? Carnage wouldn't even approach it.

The second is much more promising... an effort to use technology to make small private airports safer, private planes easier to fly, and better integrate them into the larger air traffic picture. Aviation Week has covered some of this stuff before... the thing I think sounds most exciting is HUD technology and "synthetic views". The first puts everything your airplane is doing along with navigation cues and such on the windscreen in front of you. The second uses various sensors to actually create a view of the outside world unobscured by weather or darkness.

Nifty stuff!

Posted by scott at August 18, 2004 02:55 PM

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