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Author Topic: Flying taxis to be trialled in Bristol in two years  (Read 3490 times)
grahame
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« on: February 08, 2021, 07:53:15 pm »

From Bristol Live

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Flying taxis to be trialled in Bristol in two years

Flying taxis that are effectively giant people-carrying drones could be taking to the skies over Bristol as soon as 2023, after the project to develop them got Government backing.

The project being developed in Bristol has received a £2.5 million grant to undertake a feasibility study, and those behind the idea say trials could begin in just two years’ time.

The technology is being developed by Vertical Aerospace, a Bristol-based electric aircraft manufacturer, and Bristol Live has reported before on how they are working on passenger carrying aircraft that look like giant drones, although the craft will be piloted.

Now they are part of a consortium led by a company called Atkins and involving the West of England Combined Authority. The project has taken a big step forward after being awarded partial funding through the Government’s Future of Flight Challenge, to find new ways to travel, achieving greener flights, and reducing congestion.

The timescale is now being mapped out with the help of the funding - the industrial research grant will look at the feasibility of an air taxi service in the south west region, before conducting a demonstration in a live environment.

The study will comprise an assessment of the demand for an air taxi service, and evaluate the integration and impact on the region’s existing transport network.

Also at https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/flying-taxis-take-uk-skies-23392262
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Bmblbzzz
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« Reply #1 on: February 08, 2021, 08:07:57 pm »

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TonyN
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« Reply #2 on: February 08, 2021, 09:22:27 pm »

More appropriate pictures here.

https://www.dreamstime.com/photos-images/flying-pigs.html
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Lee
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« Reply #3 on: February 08, 2021, 09:31:52 pm »


Or indeed here - https://m.atkinsglobal.com/en-GB/projects/cambridgeshire-guided-busway
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johnneyw
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« Reply #4 on: February 08, 2021, 09:58:01 pm »

This does remind me of the sort of thing that would appear once on Tomorrow's World and then maybe quite a few years later in a documentary about the difficulties of predicting technology.
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eXPassenger
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« Reply #5 on: February 08, 2021, 10:17:58 pm »

I quickly checked the date.
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broadgage
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« Reply #6 on: February 09, 2021, 12:27:13 am »

Not a bad idea, presuming that the vehicles are electrically powered.
Most unlikely to be achievable in the near term.
How much will they cost ?
CAA» (Civil Aviation Authority - about) approval ? Cost of trained pilots ?
Insurance ? If the machine kills someone on the ground ? The occupants will presumably accept the small but real risk of accident, but those on the ground have no choice.
Society accepts the loss of lives on the roads, some of whom are completely innocent passers by, but a new risk though probably very small may be less accepted.

I expect that such vehicles will eventually be used, but not in the near term.
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A 5 car DMU (Diesel Multiple Unit) is not a proper inter-city train. The 5+5 and 9 car DMUs are almost as bad.
bignosemac
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« Reply #7 on: February 09, 2021, 06:44:23 am »

Some taxi drivers can be a little lax in following the rules of the road, and will likely be just as lax in the air. So we'll probably need flying rozzers too!

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TaplowGreen
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« Reply #8 on: February 09, 2021, 06:47:57 am »

I thought the helicopter had already been invented?
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CyclingSid
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« Reply #9 on: February 09, 2021, 07:09:06 am »

If it was DfT» (Department for Transport - about), flying pigs would be more likely
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eightonedee
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« Reply #10 on: February 09, 2021, 01:54:58 pm »

I have realised this is very bad news. The chimera of hydrogen and battery powered trains being used as an excuse not to electrify is bad enough, the one of electric flying taxis will probably now justify no investment by HMG in any form of terrestrial transport - "just wait for the electric flying taxis"!
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broadgage
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« Reply #11 on: February 11, 2021, 04:37:19 am »

Also being considered in America, though even the proponents suggest 5 years rather than 2 years until use.

I have no doubt that these will be used eventually both in the UK (United Kingdom) and in the USA, I do however think that timescales are unduly optimistic.
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A proper intercity train has a minimum of 8 coaches, gangwayed throughout, with first at one end, and a full sized buffet car between first and standard.
It has space for cycles, surfboards,luggage etc.
A 5 car DMU (Diesel Multiple Unit) is not a proper inter-city train. The 5+5 and 9 car DMUs are almost as bad.
Red Squirrel
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« Reply #12 on: February 11, 2021, 12:04:56 pm »

Also being considered in America, though even the proponents suggest 5 years rather than 2 years until use.

I have no doubt that these will be used eventually both in the UK (United Kingdom) and in the USA, I do however think that timescales are unduly optimistic.

As TG suggests, these things are essentially helicopters. Whilst helicopters are indespensible in certain niche roles, they have proven themselves to be of limited use as public transport.
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Clan Line
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« Reply #13 on: February 11, 2021, 01:03:37 pm »

No one has mentioned the really difficult part - just how will this aerial traffic be controlled ?

Road, rail and (to some extent) water traffic is relatively easily controlled but still people run into each other. Air traffic is controlled by a very complex (and expensive) air traffic control system - but still people fly into each other.
Much of this control relies on the human part of the chain playing by the "rules". The train driver is meant to stop at a red signal, the car driver is meant to drive on the correct side of the road.
The aviation side is far more complex - it is probably true to say that most airliners (which are already incredibly safe) would be even safer if there was nobody sitting up the front ! However, people just would not fly in an aircraft with no pilot - which is strange when you read accident reports like the very recent celebrity accident in the US, where the pilot who was flying under Visual Flight Rules, flew into cloud ...... closely followed by a hillside.
Someone has already mentioned Tomorrow's World - this proposal would certainly have appeared on this programme and like most ideas shown there would have then disappeared into oblivion.

If there is £2.5million available to fund such a pie-in-the-sky idea could it not be spent on something more realistic ? Hydrogen/electric/cow dung powered wheeled taxis or buses perhaps ?
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Red Squirrel
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« Reply #14 on: February 11, 2021, 01:35:02 pm »

[...]If there is £2.5million available to fund such a pie-in-the-sky idea could it not be spent on something more realistic ? Hydrogen/electric/cow dung powered wheeled taxis or buses perhaps ?

...or a footbridge for Pilning?
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