Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Finally, Flying Cars are in the works

The flying car has arrived.
God Help Us All!
All the time I was driving to and from work in deadly NJ traffic I dreamt of a car that could fly itself out of trouble. 

And now when I stay at home working as an author for 17 hours a day, they finally fulfill my greatest desire:

When I dreamt of this car, honestly it looked more like this, with small jet engines:
After all, how is a car with wings going to drive on NJ Roads? We can't stay in our lane and not smash things when we have lines drawn on the road.  What hope do we have when we fly in unmarked air space? 

I remember the day I realized it was a fool's dream. I had just gone from 70 miles an hour to a complete stop in less time than my cursing response to the fiasco took. 

My mind went immediately to my dream of being able to simply initiate the jet burns, pull up on the wheel and soar above the smashed cars further up the road.

Then my fabulous dream image turns into a nightmare as EVERYONE tries to escape the road and fly into the sky. 

The result will be worse than the Hindenburg. Oh, the inhumanity! Oh, the days before all the broken bits of human and metal are removed from the highway!

But on the positive side, there might be a lot of job openings soon after.

Still, Airbus is seriously declaring 2017 the year of the flying cars. Looks like Singapore may be first. 

Do you know why our current planes don't crash into each other? No, it's not just the equipment  they have. That helps, but not so much in close proximity, such as when they are landing. They have strange, sometimes demented, but highly trained people staring at the radar equipment advising the pilot of the plane what to do.

I remember when I was on my first solo flight and needed to land at controlled airport. I announced my presence and the air controller speaks so fast and cryptically that I had no clue what he said. So now I'm left pondering what to do. Should I fake it or fess up I had not clue what he'd just said. So I worked through my options. What might happen if I fake it? I imagined a Jet hitting me as we both go for the same runway. So I went for option 2. I confessed, I was on my first solo flight, I hadn't understood a word he said. After a pause, a very slow voice came over the radio. "Hello, 3 Mike Alpha", and then he gave me very clear instructions and which runway I should land upon. 

It turns out commercial pilots can comprehend the rapid abbreviated words that controllers speak, but I don't think normal humans will ever comprehend it. So rule one, is we can't use the control centers that airplanes use. It would be the equivalent of mass murder.

Next problem, they've created a plane/ car with long wings. It looks a bit like the Cessnas I used to fly, except fatter. 
It's not going to fit on our roads. EVER.

And then there is the issue of letting millions of people flying willy-nilly all over the sky.  We aren't great on the roads, but the reason it only kills 40K people a year in the US is because the roads are paved into the ground. You do NOT go driving off into a field because your destiny is in that direction. No. You stay on the road and follow the roads signs.

There are NO roads nor road signs in the air. So the average human would be totally lost in the air. And do not expect Air Control to help you. They expect you to call them and announce your arrival. It does not work out well if you call them declaring you have no idea where you are and can they see you...Yeah, I did that. And no they couldn't help me. Then I flew right over their airport, quickly announced I was landing and got called to control tower to explain what happened.  I didn't get in trouble, but I was grounded until the weather improved.

But what happens if 300 peeps try that at one small airport?

I'm pretty sure we could raise the death knoll to over a million a year if we have flying cars.

I mean seriously, do you know how many times I almost hit another plane in the air? OK, it only happened three times. But that's 3 times too many! And one of them was a fighter jet going so fast I didn't see him in my visual check and the next second he's zipping in front of my nose.

Technically speaking, planes are supposed to work on the rule that the slowest plane gets priority in the air. So I can't fly in front of a glider, and fighter jets aren't supposed to go zipping by in front of me because I had no chance to even say "oh shit!" 

Fortunately, when I flew a plane, the skies were mostly empty. Now we have kids (some being adult kids) flying drones so high they lose sight of them. But out of sight doesn't mean out of trouble.

Could a drone take out a Cessna? I'm sure it could. How about the car/plane above.  Definitely. How about a jetliner? If a goose can take out an engine, then I'm certain a drone can too. Good thing they have more than one engine.

So here's our future:
7 billion little drone planes and about 4 million flying cars crashing about the sky. It'll be a Hindenburg every five seconds.

But what if drone planes just fly you directly to your workplace with you as a passenger? Skyways would need to be charted, but that is possible. Still, you begin on the ground presumably at home. So how do you safely get from the ground into your allocated space in the sky to go to your office without intersecting someone else's path. The plane will no doubt have technology to warn you of other planes flying too close, but will it actually prevent all accidents? Based on our self-driving cars, I think not.

Thus, people in their homes will be at risk from planes crashing on their homes, and unlike our current major airlines and, often times, heroic captains to save the day, you'll just have a plane or maybe two crashing through the roof and catching on fire.

This will never go mainstream. Despite my long dream of a flying car, it's too dangerous...

So let's talk about my next Sci-Fi series instead. While Alisha loves to fly, she flies a windcatcher and if it fails the only person who will die is the SkyRyder, unless its Alisha. She has skills beyond the SkyRyders' imagination and can even survive a chute failure.

Meet Alisha: A young woman who refuses to live the life her parents want.
In a single month, Alisha Kane has gone from a wealthy debutante to street girl to scavenger.  While testing her new flying skills in the Cully Canyon, Alisha incurs a near-death crash landing. She’s “rescued” by a colonel of the SkyRyders and her life changes forever.
Meet Logan: A SkyRyder colonel in charge of a sleepy fort with little to do other than arrest the occasional scavenger.
For the first time in his life, Logan’s attracted to a young woman, only she’s probably a scavenger and he’ll have to arrest her.  But first, he offers her a shower and food while he checks on his crew. His Videographer has captured her extraordinary flight through the Cully and her flying is astounding!
He forgoes arresting her and puts his career at risk by asking MAC to assess her skills and integrity as a potential SkyRyder. If he can get Alisha into the SkyRyders, it will be his greatest contribution to the Corps.
Meet MAC: the Artifical Intelligence that runs the SkyRyders Corps.
Upon seeing her arrival, MAC upgrades Alisha’s test. Her flying skills are not just excellent; they exceed what was previously thought possible. MAC classifies her as its #1 asset and soon she proves her value.  

But…the SkyRyders remain a male-dominated Corps where Alisha’s sense of right and wrong often clashes with her superiors. How long can a rebellious young woman survive in a regimented Corps?


The SkyRyder’s Series, Book 1

Scavenger’s Mission


Pre-order your copy now


  1. Having also flown - the thought of sharing the air space with a bunch of unskilled car pilots is terrifying!

    1. Yes, I finally decided I was a danger to myself and stopped flying lol.

  2. Another way for Darwin's Law to assert itself, me thinks. Too much money in it to let it go.
    Thanks for sharing... I think!

    1. Well, when the mini carplanes constantly fall out of the sky from air collisions, they might rethink matters.

  3. In JD Robb's books, the cars fly and Eve is a police detective often taking to the air for a quick trip but there's always a near miss in every book! Now add in the hover boards and you have a lot more room for disaster!

    1. Near misses are part of every pilot's life, I think.


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