Saturday, July 19, 2008

The Future of Flying.

Speaking of Batman, Superman, Spidey and other flying, or at least line-swinging super heroes, when are the rest of us going to able to fly? Not in the annoyingly cramped seats of the aluminum tube, but individually like a motorcyclist in the sky.

Flotational automobiles have been predicted as imminent since the invention of the automobile itself. Even as recently as 1989, Marty McFly and the Doc went Back to the Future, 2015, and machines were flying. That's 7 years from now.

Yves Rossy, of Switzerland, can fly for 7 minutes, sort of. His Ironman-type back pack keeps him flying for seven minutes, although take-offs and landings look a little frightening. He must launch from an airplane in-flight and then hit the power at the right time, and he needs a parachute to land. But hey, he's really and truly flying for a while.

Fighting gravity with traditional velocity and lift devices requires too much energy to make it practicable. Many physicists believe anti-gravity or "flotation" will come in the form of magnetic resistance. Add a little energy to a "floating" body and the energy is being used for velocity and not fighting the force of gravity. Like the Space Shuttle in outer space.

When a technology finally gets to the commercially available stage application moves quickly, and some day soon, as in the next 100 years, floating devices will be everywhere, and your children will be able to say to their grandchildren, "I remember when cars had rubber, air-filled wheels, and we had to drive to school ten miles in the snow and rain."

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