Innovation?

Maybe I’m old-fashioned in thinking that a motor vehicle design team would set out to make something that works.

This is similar to the “flying car” company web sites. They’re “designing” things that cannot work. They’ll even pre-sell you one.

In this case, they’ve “designed” something out of science fiction fantasy. I don’t know, but I think this crosses a line, and not a good one. We have designers from two major companies getting together to roll out their brand new…nothing. It only works in the virtual world, where the laws of physics are completely flexible. I have to believe there was marijuana involved.

19 thoughts on “Innovation?

  1. if god hadn’t meant the sheep to be shorn, he would not have give them wool.

    eli wallach to yul brenner, in the magnificent seven. “blue sky” they call it.

        • Publius, when you watched the video, did you notice there is one one fan (or fan-like) element in the design, where it is located and how it is mounted? There is a reason a helicopter’s main rotor or an airplane’s wing is in the middle of the airframe: lift is a pure vector force opposite to the airflow. Think of it this way, you can substitute a chain hoist connected to the center of lift (the center a fan) and get the same result.

          What would happen to the Lego bike if you hung it from the rear fan which points straight down? Answer: it will fall down and point at the ground. The fins at the front could only provide lift if the design was moving forward at speed, but the rear fan doesn’t point to the rear for thrust. The design can never work without anti-gravity lift to support it…

          TL;DR – This ‘design’ is an embarrassment to both the BMW and Lego teams IMO. I build more realistic flying bike designs before I was a teenager because I respected the need for lift at both ends of the bike, like you see in all the hover bike links.

          • “lift is a pure vector force opposite to the airflow”
            Opposite being 90 degrees? Or should “lift” be “thrust” or “airflow” should be “weight”? Or I’m just confused. 🙂

          • I can’t reply to Robert, but he is correct, I mixed two cases… For a wing, lift is opposite the low pressure surface (and 90 degrees to the airflow). For a fan as in the Lego design thrust is parallel and opposite airflow.

  2. A flying motorcycle makes better sense than an flying car, but its only relative. The device illustrated, I’m sure, involves something stronger than mere ganja.

  3. That picture reminds me of the late nineteenth century artists conceptions of Jules Verne style flying machines. Back then the styling cues were lifted from sailing ships and yachts. Making a flying machine with parts derived from wheel suspension and gas tanks makes no sense. There are a variety of types of flying machines, none of which are close analogs to motorcycles. A close analog would probably require entirely different propulsion and lift generating technologies, and would wind op looking very different from an early twenty first century motorcycle.

    • That idea has been kicked around for years and years of course. You can order one right now I bet. You just won’t be taking delivery is all.

      The quad ducted fan is probably the most viable at this point, that is IF we want to ignore the one that’s been working very well for generations (the ubiquitous helicopter).

      Even with your functional quad, the noise and wind blast alone will keep it banned from your neighborhood. One that could carry a family of four on a shopping trip, or even a single seater, would be so violent and noisy at takeoff and landing (make sure there’s nothing on the ground that could become a dangerous projectile) that few would tolerate it unless neighborhoods and shopping centers, whole cities, were to be reconfigured.

      So if you don’t want or can’t afford a small auto gyro or helicopter, you’re certainly never going to spring for a quad that would be (if at such time it’s ever actually done) inherently more expensive and problematic.

      And as commuter vehicles; only in decent weather. There are certain conditions in which air travel, even with computer stabilization and GPS guidance, etc., will not be feasible. Then it’s back to the highway in your AWD Subaru or what have you. So you’ll need both. We’d still want a highway and road system for a long time to come.

      All the being said, it is my assertion that if our government hadn’t intervened in transportation including land and air, most of us by now would be flying most of the time, and our cities and neighborhood would by now look very different. So if you want to see real technical advancements in this regard, or most any other, get the Progressives out of the way first.

      • You hit on the fundamental mechanical problem: lifting 2000 lbs of load requires 2000 lbs of thrust and that is a LOT of air moving down at high speed…

        To me the larger problem is control. Airplane controls aren’t obvious and the interactions between them are tricky.

        The neophyte thinks the throttle controls speed, elevators control altitude, the rudder controls turning and the alierons just wag the wings and look cool.

        A pilot learns that the throttle controls altitude (long term), the elevators control attitude and airspeed (long term), and the alierons control the rate of turning, with the rudder left to make up for adverse yaw and allow handling crosswinds. Add in stalls, zooms, and dives and life gets VERY interesting without a high level of automation backing up the pilot. Now add all the problems of night flying and sensory confusion and you have an airplane spiraling into the ground while the pilot thinks he is straight and level.

        Read “Stick and Rudder” by Wolfgang Langewiesche for a master’s coverage of this synopsis.. It is a great read even if you are not a pilot.

        Today GPS at least makes air navigation easier compared to I Follow Railroads, VOR and TACAN or (for a short time) LORAN receivers… The WAZE app may be model for crowd navigation as it ‘phones home’ with traffic info real time, even using selected drivers as manned probes to test alternate routes. That happened to me one day in LA. I was routed off the freeway to side streets then back on again, and I ended up next to the veterinarian’s SUV I was pacing when I got off the freeway..

        With modern automation we could build a fly-by-wire airplane for the common man, but as you said, bad weather will round any airplane and you are back to AWD….

  4. Dang! I hope that TourTech comes up with the retrofit kit soon, so I can convert my R1200GS Adv – this would seriously rock in being able to “ride” the Washington Backroads Disovery Route (WABDR). Just fly over the hard parts!

    • Sure. All we need is an inconceivable, unforeseen, quantum leap in technology that would probably require altering the immutable laws of nature. THEN you can have one of those.

      • True – but if I ordered now from TourTech, it would just be backordered, likely for no longer than their backorders for current technology parts! 🙂

  5. It can work. But, the only existing Upsidaisium Mine is currently owned by a thick headed moose-whereabouts unknown.

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