Friday, December 06, 2019

If driverless cars didn't freak you out..........

I guess Ehang filed to go IPO. So - I guess this is a real product now. I'm hoping next year is going to be the year of the VTOL. (vertical take off and landing) There are really a lot of companies in the mix now.


  1. Just for shits and giggles.

  2. Now show what this thing does when you cut the power to all of the rotors ...

    If it'll auto-rotate down to the ground safely enough, then that's interesting.

    If it crashes and puts the pilot plus passengers plus anyone near it on the ground in the hospital or worse, that's really not all that impressive.

    One of these will crash, and it's not a matter of if, but when.

    It's whether you get to walk away from the crash that's interesting.

    These days any dumbass can get something to fly, but getting it to land safely, that's a completely different set of problems.

    Even a group of kids can manage to launch a CubeSat.

    I haven't looked at NORAD to see what its orbital trajectory is or whether it's still actually orbital, but this thing will either become Space Garbage(tm) or go into re-entry, and it's the latter one that's going to be interesting.

    There's always the option where it'll smack into some Russian satellite and cause a moderately irritating international diplomatic incident.

    Maybe someone on the ISS can chuck a tool bag in its general direction so we can avoid that scenario. :-)

    But anyway ... all it takes to kill a company like this is one really nasty accident.

    Do you remember the airline named AirTran? One nasty accident later, and very few people probably remember them these days at all. They had to pursue a very aggressive name change in a very short amount of time, just so their customers wouldn't remain spooked about the company.

    Besides, having an IPO isn't a proxy for whether a company and its products or services happen to be viable even over a relatively short term. (Think of Tesla and the shit they've caused with under 500k units total company lifetime delivery, and also think of Uber, which is always in the red, etc.)

    I'm actually more trusting of companies who say that they don't want or need an IPO in order to be successful, because if that's their attitude, then they're probably right.

    So after ... E-Hang ... has its first gnarly accident, then let's see where things are for them.

    I can say one thing: the name isn't good, because I'm already visualizing the crash victims E-Hanging in the trees with E-Hang stuff all over them.

    Do they have engineers naming this stuff? :-)

  3. I wonder if he has money in wework?

  4. "One of these will crash, and it's not a matter of if, but when."

    Yeah, but I think its a win if it crashes less than humans. But most people don't have that standard.

    Weird article Leaperman. Don't know what to make of it.

  5. Capital of Texas RefugeeSunday, December 08, 2019 8:22:00 PM

    Note the prospectus: "Past performance is no guarantee of future performance."

    Just because it looks like a plane doesn't mean it is one.

    To me it looks like a car with a car-grade body and some spinning things that probably don't allow this flying car to behave like a helicopter, let alone an actual airplane.

    This is important in terms of survival in a crash.

    And so just because this looks like it's in the same class of vehicles as planes and helicopters doesn't mean that it is, and it doesn't mean that it should be regarded as having the same survivability or even the same history.

    What kind of wreck would you expect if your Pontiac Sunshiney Repaired Goodness dropped from ten or fifteen stories of building height, without so much as a cool looking but massively ineffective drag chute?

    That's what this thing crashing will probably look like.

    But look at this from a positive angle: some overly confident business types with very little knowledge of engineering or physics might get culled by this brave new experiment in aviation! :-)

  6. Rob - (Giggle) Yeah.

    Texas Refugee - You sure are lippy considering most guys thought jetpacks were in the running not too long ago. Try to deny it!

    I think I have a slight affinity to this company because their cofounder and one of their heli pilots died in crashes. They understand the risks first hand. It's sort of the same feeling I have for McLaren even though I am bored of them. They build their cars with special attention do to the people involved in them dieing in crashes. Nothing in life is perfect though. I'm sure someone will die.

    Brave new aviation has to start somewhere. And strangely the FAA has been more cooperative than NITSA apparently. These have been brewing under the surface for a couple of years now. At least that is when they got on my radar and I started talking to people about them.

  7. Capital of Texas RefugeeMonday, December 09, 2019 3:35:00 PM

    "You sure are lippy considering most guys thought jetpacks were in the running not too long ago. Try to deny it!"


    I have a sore back from various stupid things that I did when I was a lot younger, so the idea of strapping a propulsion system to my back is one that does not naturally occur to me as a good idea.

    What it occurs to me as being is a great way how to get even more back pain.

    So I've never wanted a jetpack.

  8. Hahahah. You have to be the only dude evar!



  10. OoooH! What do I get? A power up? Boss level? What? Better armor?

  11. You get ... your own jetpack!

    Marvel at your magnificent jetpack!

    Oh, did I mention that it stalls out if you press the accelerator button too hard?



  12. I feel like I just got the worst Christmas present evar! I don't want a jetpack. I have never once had a girl say they wanted a jetpack. But I have had a bunch of guys say they do. Which is why women live longer than men.