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Eclipse
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« on: October 29, 2016, 04:48:13 PM »

http://medium.com/@UberPubPolicy/fast-forwarding-to-a-future-of-on-demand-urban-air-transportation-f6ad36950ffa#.tmv8pct6r

"On-demand aviation has the potential to radically improve urban mobility, giving people back time lost in their daily commutes. Uber is close to the commute pain that citizens in cities around the world feel. We view helping to solve this problem as core to our mission and our commitment to our rider base. Just as skyscrapers allowed cities to use limited land more efficiently, urban air transportation will use three-dimensional airspace to alleviate transportation congestion on the ground. A network of small, electric aircraft that take off and land vertically (called VTOL aircraft for Vertical Take-off and Landing, and pronounced vee-tol), will enable rapid, reliable transportation between suburbs and cities and, ultimately, within cities."

Whitepaper: http://www.uber.com/elevate.pdf (also attached for posterity)





As with film cameras, 10-15 years ago, now is not the time to be a cab driver.
Uber is definitely wining this game, for any number of reasons, not the least of which is cost.

I was pretty shocked to see how many hotels and apartment buildings have helipads in downtown LA.
due to an only recently changed code requirement that all high-rises have a flat roof and helipad for fire evacuation.
http://www.ladowntownnews.com/news/city-eliminates-helipad-requirement/article_44d2760c-4810-11e4-ba5e-cf746009cf79.html



Considering its horrible traffic issues, and the rise of Uber, LA is primed to see this take shape. Regardless, the most successful
ride-sharing service is now publicly advocating the idea, which means others are also planning the same things,
just letting Uber blaze the trail.

Initially this could actually seriously increase the need for commercial pilots, though I wouldn't jump on that bandwagon
knowing that the idea was to eliminate me as soon as feasible.  Either way, like it or not, this is coming, or at least the big boys are going to
take a shot.



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RogueLeader
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« Reply #1 on: October 29, 2016, 05:00:50 PM »

Shortly thereafter this takes effect, you will be seeing the congestion of the skylanes.  I don't look forward the the inevitable crashes and collateral damage from falling debris that used to be called a plane.
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Eclipse
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« Reply #2 on: October 29, 2016, 05:21:39 PM »

All part of the risk of innovation - there will be plenty of "first crashes", "first fatalities", and "first incidents", just like with
street vehicles and regular aircraft.

Heck, Uber sent my drivers all week to the Third Street Tunnel, which is solid concrete from end-to-end >under< my hotel, and when the car
got under the entrance, ended the ride.

As to congestion, it'll be much less of an issue as the sky has 3 dimensions (or axes if you prefer), so the kinds of things
that cause congestion (human idiocy, accidents, etc.) won't be as much of a factor since you can go "over or around" things in a way you
can't on surface roads.

It's almost certainly going to have to be managed by AI as well, which means that, like the ATC system, in 90% of the cases things will work very well,
and when it's down or confused, the whole darn things will grind to a screeching halt.

Even if the plan was to only allow flight over existing roads (which sounds like the kind of short-sighted plan a bureaucrat would come up with),
that would effectively double+ the area people have to travel within, eliminating some volume issues immediately.

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RogueLeader
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« Reply #3 on: October 29, 2016, 05:33:28 PM »

So we get either the Chaos that is the skylanes of Nar Shadda or the controlled Chaos of Coruscant.  Great. 
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Eclipse
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« Reply #4 on: October 29, 2016, 05:53:58 PM »

One good thing, LA's downtown is well ahead of the curve in the "dystopian wasteland" department, so the path has been paved...
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Luis R. Ramos
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« Reply #5 on: October 29, 2016, 05:55:59 PM »

New York City has gone the other way.

After a B-25 crash into the Empire State in 1944 or 1945, another crash involving a helicopter into the city, a mid-air between a Super Connie and DC-8 in Brooklyn in the '60s, a 737 crash in Far Rockaway in the Boro of Queens in 2009, a 2006 Cirrus airplane crash in Manhattan piloted by a NY Yankees pitcher, and several other helicopter accidents including a mid-air between a small GA and a helicopter in 2009 no airplane can fly above the city including all five boros. And who can forget Sully and the Hudson?

Commercial flights are still allowed to JFK and LGA. Tourist helicopter flights are limited over the East River. The only helos authorized over the city are Police and News. Even airplane flying over the Hudson River between the city and New Jersey is severely restricted.

However now and then I see a seaplane over Queens I am pretty sure is trying to follow the East River and Long Island Sound...
« Last Edit: October 29, 2016, 06:03:13 PM by Luis R. Ramos » Logged

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etodd
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« Reply #6 on: October 29, 2016, 09:42:01 PM »

New York City has gone the other way.

After a B-25 crash into the Empire State in 1944 or 1945, another crash involving a helicopter into the city, a mid-air between a Super Connie and DC-8 in Brooklyn in the '60s, a 737 crash in Far Rockaway in the Boro of Queens in 2009, a 2006 Cirrus airplane crash in Manhattan piloted by a NY Yankees pitcher, and several other helicopter accidents including a mid-air between a small GA and a helicopter in 2009 no airplane can fly above the city including all five boros.

Huh? I have a friend who circles over New York City and the area quite often in a Skyhawk shooting aerial photography. Its quite busy with small GA air traffic.
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Eclipse
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« Reply #7 on: October 30, 2016, 12:24:49 AM »

Isn't there a heliport right on the edge of Manhattan people use to get to and from the major airports?

Daley tried to restrict GA flying around the Chicago Metro area after 911, but was challenged and the restrictions were lifted.

Also, for those who found the white paper TL:DR, note Uber assumes a ten-year development.

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Live2Learn
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« Reply #8 on: October 30, 2016, 03:08:01 AM »

New York City has gone the other way.

After a B-25 crash into the Empire State in 1944 or 1945, another crash involving a helicopter into the city, a mid-air between a Super Connie and DC-8 in Brooklyn in the '60s, a 737 crash in Far Rockaway in the Boro of Queens in 2009, a 2006 Cirrus airplane crash in Manhattan piloted by a NY Yankees pitcher, and several other helicopter accidents including a mid-air between a small GA and a helicopter in 2009 no airplane can fly above the city including all five boros. And who can forget Sully and the Hudson?

Commercial flights are still allowed to JFK and LGA. Tourist helicopter flights are limited over the East River. The only helos authorized over the city are Police and News. Even airplane flying over the Hudson River between the city and New Jersey is severely restricted.

However now and then I see a seaplane over Queens I am pretty sure is trying to follow the East River and Long Island Sound...

The argument could be made that nearly every crash you've listed was due to human error.  From the B-25 flying through fog into the Empire State Building to Cory Lidel's Cirrus crash into the condo, the human pilot (or pilots) were not up to the tasks demanded of them.  Not saying AI is perfect, but darn near all of the crashes involved well know pilot errors, including failed See & Avoid. The exception to known problems was  the airbus co-pilot who snapped the vertical fin in 2011. That structural failure has since resulted in SAIB CE-11-17 which cautions pilots against ham handed and elephant feet control movements.
« Last Edit: October 30, 2016, 03:12:58 AM by Live2Learn » Logged
Luis R. Ramos
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« Reply #9 on: October 30, 2016, 06:39:23 AM »

I did not say there were no heliports. There are--in the East River, which borders Manhattan on the East side, there may be another on the Hudson in the West. I am not sure...

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« Reply #10 on: October 30, 2016, 08:10:31 AM »

I did not say there were no heliports. There are--in the East River, which borders Manhattan on the East side, there may be another on the Hudson in the West. I am not sure...

There are three helipads in Manhatten. A google search for "New York City helipads" yielded:

Downtown Manhatten Helipad - off the southern tip and off the FDR Drive. Mostly used for tours to Lady Liberty.

East 34th street heliport - the "celebrity" helipad

West 30th street heliport - west side, open 24 x 7



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Luis R. Ramos
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« Reply #11 on: October 30, 2016, 10:15:52 AM »

Find all the heliports you like.

The point is... not a single one is in the middle of the city!

The Celebrity helipad is three to four blocks from the East River, not over the middle of the city.

The Downtown Manhattan Heliport is 100 or 50 feet on the East River on a pier, not in the middle of the city.

The West 30th Street Heliport is about 50 feet on the Hudson River on a pier, not in the middle of the city.

My point is, as I stated at the beginning, flying is restricted over New York City instead of LA which appears to be encouraged!

I have lived in the city for about 14 years. So I think I know a little bit about this area...
« Last Edit: October 30, 2016, 10:20:16 AM by Luis R. Ramos » Logged

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« Reply #12 on: October 30, 2016, 10:40:52 AM »

All the accidents I listed, except the one with Sully at the controls were pilot error.

They were enough to restrict flying over the middle of the city. So much that with all the high rises, the rooftops are always obstructed with air conditioners, water towers, antennas, and other stuff. Not conducive to evacuation by helicopters like in LA.

A fact that prevented many from being rescued during 9/11...
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Luis R. Ramos
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« Reply #13 on: October 30, 2016, 11:06:19 AM »

There was also another heliport in what was known as the Pan Am Building, now the MetLife Building. This is 45th Street, and it could be considered the middle of the city.

There was service to other airports. Shortly after Pan Am ceased operations, a helicopter landed, one of the wheels collapsed, the rotor hit the floor and one of the blades snapped off hitting a waiting crowd and fell, killing another person. Between 5 and 4 people died. Helicopter service was suspended. No more flights over the city.
« Last Edit: October 30, 2016, 11:14:21 AM by Luis R. Ramos » Logged

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PHall
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« Reply #14 on: October 30, 2016, 11:33:06 AM »

There was also another heliport in what was known as the Pan Am Building, now the MetLife Building. This is 45th Street, and it could be considered the middle of the city.

There was service to other airports. Shortly after Pan Am ceased operations, a helicopter landed, one of the wheels collapsed, the rotor hit the floor and one of the blades snapped off hitting a waiting crowd and fell, killing another person. Between 5 and 4 people died. Helicopter service was suspended. No more flights over the city.

No more flights over the city?????  Better tell NYPD, the Coast Guard, the Air Force and the Marines.
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Luis R. Ramos
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« Reply #15 on: October 30, 2016, 11:48:38 AM »

PHall, I know you can read, but it appears your reading is selective.

I quote from that very same message. 

Quote
The only helos authorized over the city are Police and News.


We were discussing commercial flights, and general aviation.

The topic is Uber Flights.

There was no reason to address military or rescue.

More so when I preempted them by stating Police!

But we already know you want to always be among the difficult ones!

Or you like to see yourself in posts...
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RogueLeader
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« Reply #16 on: October 30, 2016, 11:51:11 AM »

Can we all just chill and keep it professional?
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« Reply #17 on: October 30, 2016, 12:32:08 PM »

Can we all just look at a N.Y. TCA chart to see how it's done?
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Eclipse
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« Reply #18 on: October 30, 2016, 12:43:10 PM »

Obviously we're not discussing police or other emergency / government traffic.

Most of NYC is Class B controlled airspace with an ADIZ.

Since 2010 (and earlier since 911) there have been moves to restrict flying in the downtown NY area
some successful, some not.

Earlier this year, legislative actions were begun to restrict the number of flights per year out of the Pier 6 Heliport
beginning in 2017, and tourist flights are now restricted to over-water flying (both of which are in response to noise
complaints on the beaches and nearby areas, not because of security issues).

One of the (many) distinctions between the two coasts in this case is that LA / CA tends to be a car culture and
driving / owning a car is considered essential, whereas NY is more of a public transit / taxi kind of place with car ownership
being much less "important".   This varies below the high level, of course, but that's the general rhetoric.

Also on the Left Coast are other variables that may impact adoption - Las Vegas, for example, is about a 3-hour drive from LA, and
they have been threatening high-speed rail between the two for over 40 years, with one plan by the Chinese being only recently scuttled
due to requirements that the trains be built in the US.  There is a >lot< of money at both ends of the line, and something viable
will almost certainly get funded, with VTOL commuter craft or similar not having the same manufacturer restrictions since it
would be all private money.

China, especially, will likely be a major proving ground for these ideas as they have all the manufacturing, plenty of space, and
few of the environmental and safety restrictions that the US has (not saying that's "good", it just "is").
« Last Edit: October 30, 2016, 12:57:39 PM by Eclipse » Logged

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Luis R. Ramos
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« Reply #19 on: October 30, 2016, 12:58:50 PM »

Believe me, Eclipse to me cars and other traffic cause much, much more noise in NYC than airplane traffic.

I grew up in Rio Piedras, Puerto Rico almost under one of the approaches to the Munoz Marin International Airport.

I am bothered more by the almost continuous noise of emergency vehicle sirens, people honking their horn for almost everything. Was not bothered by the sound of the PRANG airplanes and others on their landing approaches.

And at some time the PRANG had F-104, Starfighters, with their own unique landing howl...

Sounds of airplanes taking off might be different!
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etodd
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« Reply #20 on: October 31, 2016, 02:49:17 PM »

New York City has gone the other way.

After a B-25 crash into the Empire State in 1944 or 1945, another crash involving a helicopter into the city, a mid-air between a Super Connie and DC-8 in Brooklyn in the '60s, a 737 crash in Far Rockaway in the Boro of Queens in 2009, a 2006 Cirrus airplane crash in Manhattan piloted by a NY Yankees pitcher, and several other helicopter accidents including a mid-air between a small GA and a helicopter in 2009 no airplane can fly above the city including all five boros.

Huh? I have a friend who circles over New York City and the area quite often in a Skyhawk shooting aerial photography. Its quite busy with small GA air traffic.

^^^ In that post you said "no airplane can fly" ... then in a later post you said 'restricted'.  And that is more the case. You are restricted in that you have to be talking to ATC, but they let aerial photographers and others circle over the city daily with no problems. As I said, I have a friend who flies over it several times a month taking photos for art sales, as well as construction progress, developers and more.  Its quite busy over New York City with GA traffic.

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Luis R. Ramos
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« Reply #21 on: October 31, 2016, 03:37:58 PM »

Ok, so the discussion in this thread was that "we will be seeing Uber Air over LA."

And there was a photo of a lot of downtown LA buildings with rooftop landing pads.

I have been living here for about 15 years, reading on this topic. Looking at the sky.

And looking at the rooftops.

It is not what I see in LA. There are no rooftop landing spots. I only see government helicopters, rescue copters, police copters.

I do not see any GA. I only see commercial aviation. On specific patterns on their way to LGA and JFK.

I lived through some of the accidents I mentioned. Far away, I grant it. They did not affect me closely. But I read reports of government personnel. Read about and heard concern of people.

You have a friend who flies over the city? Does he live in the city??? I live here!
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THRAWN
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« Reply #22 on: October 31, 2016, 03:43:48 PM »

Can we all just look at a N.Y. TCA chart to see how it's done?

Bah...why look at the rules or even consider them when it is easier to just assume and perpetuate myths...

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« Reply #23 on: October 31, 2016, 05:34:13 PM »

Single warning - clean it up or lock it up. The "measuring contest" is over.
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Dave Bowles
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PHall
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« Reply #24 on: October 31, 2016, 05:48:00 PM »

LOCK in 3........2.........1........
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« Reply #25 on: October 31, 2016, 09:03:37 PM »

PM sent.
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« Reply #26 on: November 01, 2016, 09:11:44 AM »

From the macro level, like a lot of these forward-looking projects, it looks great on paper.  The current GA system kind of depends on airports being far enough away that each landing strip has enough room for it's own pattern.  In an urban setting with multiple landing pads in close proximity, this isn't possible.  There will always be human piloted aircraft mixing with the autonomous aircraft.  I can't wonder how robust the software will be in the autonomous aircraft and how it will deal with an 'out of parameters' event such as a near mid-air, or some other anomaly.  Developing a traffic-control system allowing for autonomous aircraft arriving and departing multiple landing pads in close proximity, is a nightmare in the making.  The economics don't make sense.

It's common knowledge what happens when you have rotary wing aircraft in close proximity with human pilots:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2007_Phoenix_news_helicopter_collision

Understanding this was the news covering an event, there are many more examples available of helicopters not playing well together.

Once you get from the macro level and start diving into the weeds at the micro level, the complexity can be staggering because the loss of human life will be unacceptable, not to mention the other economics of the cost-per-seat (economies of scale).
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« Reply #27 on: November 23, 2016, 11:40:42 PM »

How do they think that this is a good idea? All throughout L.A. There are skyscrapers its gonna be like the 1945 B-25 accident all the time, where these things are gonna smash into buildings left and right if there is a heavy fog.
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