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Personal Flight Systems


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Poll: Dude, where's my Iron Man suit? (8 member(s) have cast votes)

When do you think personal flight systems will become available to the public?

  1. 2020-2050 (1 votes [12.50%])

    Percentage of vote: 12.50%

  2. 2050-2100 (2 votes [25.00%])

    Percentage of vote: 25.00%

  3. 2100-2150 (4 votes [50.00%])

    Percentage of vote: 50.00%

  4. 2150-2200 (0 votes [0.00%])

    Percentage of vote: 0.00%

  5. after 2200 (1 votes [12.50%])

    Percentage of vote: 12.50%

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#1
zen_mutiny

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Seeing that flying cars are quite possibly right around the corner, when do you think personal flight systems will be available? In other words, a suit/jetpack/harness/pair of wings, etc that will allow you to fly without having to be in a vehicle. This could be accomplished in many ways - the aforementioned jetpack, a nanosuit that can form wings on command, ion propulsion, some kind of electromagnetic anti-grav system, or even powerful, miniaturized versions of today's propulsion systems. This could effectively deliver the Iron Man / Superman / that dream where you fly experience to anyone and revolutionize personal transportation. I think it's only natural, that if given the opportunity, man will find a way to fly. The real question is, when?


Edited by zen_mutiny, 09 May 2013 - 07:15 PM.


#2
Rkw

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I voted 2100+ before I realised you meant not using a vehicle. I'm not sure, you'd need a large power source and a battery capable of holding it, on your person as you go.

Plus there are security issues obviously, just flying over country borders etc.

 

I'd say the tech to make this possible will be available next century. Not sure it would be implemented though.



#3
zen_mutiny

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As for security issues, that's just another reason why more prevalent surveillance is not necessarily a bad thing. I suspect air transportation will become more commonplace, but before that occurs, we will see an influx in public transportation and automated (driverless) vehicles. Technically, someone could hop in a private plane and fly over national borders now. Radar, flying surveillance drones and other ways of monitoring airspace would have to become more commonplace.

 

Also, there is the possibility that in controlled or restricted areas, your vehicle's (or your suit's) navigation systems will be overridden by a local flight control system, to ensure that travel through that airspace is as safe as possible. The ubiquity of local air travel may largely depend upon the feasibility and reliability of these systems. There is also the inevitability of redundant on-board anti-collision systems that are already being implemented in driverless cars. There are many unforeseen changes to the national security and air traffic control infrastructure that will shape the emergence and the availability of personal air travel. 

 

It's quite possible, that between radar, surveillance drones and other methods, that we may be able to know what's going on in every inch of a nation's airspace at anytime, and thus, be able to detect any unauthorized vehicles. Flying transportation could be limited to state-controlled, automated, public transport and privately chartered drones. We may never see the cliched sci fi city, dense with personal flying vehicles. But, that won't change the technological inevitability of their invention. Public ground transportation may become so efficient that they would be considered a wasteful luxury. 

 

Even if the flying car doesn't become a ubiquitous consumer item, you can be sure that we will see advances in short-range, maneuverable, VTOL transportation in both the military and commercial sector. Personal flight systems are one natural evolution of this, even if they are relegated to military, public safety, and extreme sports usage. Everybody may own one, but whether or not we will see them in densely packed cities depends on how efficient the safety measures will be. 


Edited by zen_mutiny, 09 May 2013 - 08:57 PM.


#4
StanleyAlexander

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I voted the second half of this century.  Batteries will be light enough and powerful enough by then to make it practical, and 2050 AI will be smarter than Tony Stark.


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