Ever since Da Vinci designed his flying machine, humanity has not only dreamed about flight, but possessed the scientific tools necessary for making flight a reality. But flying around in giant airplanes is both troublesome and invasive. It would be much more convenient for me if I had my own personal flight machine, say a jet pack, to transport me wherever I want to go. If it could also be solar-powered, then all the better.
A personal air vehicle or PAV, is a class of light general aviation aircraft that meets design and performance goals intended to make flying as commonplace as driving. The fundamental premise of this technology is to reduce the technical requirements for aircraft, the goal being a “highway in the sky” scenario where an individual is able to fly from point to point with the ease of driving an automobile.
According to the guidelines released by NASA, a PAV would:
Seat 2 to 6 passengers.
Have a 150–200 mph (240–320 km/h) cruising speed.
Be capable of being flown by anyone with a driver’s license.
Be as affordable as travel by car or airliner.
Possess near all-weather capability enabled by synthetic vision systems.
Be highly fuel efficient (able to use alternative fuels).
Have a 1,300 km range.
Provide “door-to-door” travel capabilities, via vehicle roadability, or small residential airfields or vertiports with only a short walk from the aircraft to the final destination.
Of the two methods proposed for providing “door-to-door” capabilities, only the roadable option can be achieved utilizing existing airport facilities and ordinary roads. Currently, the only vehicles able to legally take off and land from a residential street are life-flight helicopters via special permission granted by the FAA on a case-by-case basis.
And when we make this personal air vehicle a reality, I would also like to add some further capabilities I expect it will:
Be able to travel backwards and forwards in time.
Have kick-ass lasers
Sport racing stripes and/or flames on the side
Be able to recharge my iPhone
I’m calling on all you home inventors and flight enthusiasts to join me in my quest to create a personal flying machine. I’d like to have a working prototype done by the end of Obama’s presidency (whether or not he gets reelected).
That is all.