50 SKY SHADES - World aviation news

Uber hires NASA aircraft engineer to help develop flying cars at Uber Elevate

Download: Printable PDF Date: 06 Feb 2017 11:30 category:
Publisher:
Uber hires NASA aircraft engineer to help develop flying cars at Uber Elevate - Events / Festivals publisher
Krista Kuznecova
Country: United States Aircraft: Airplanes
Source: Techcrunch

Uber is making moves to expand the scope of its flying car experiment – the company just hired NASA engineer Mark Moore, who worked at the federal agency as an advanced aircraft engineer and basically kickstarted the current interest in vertical take-off and landing craft for short-haul urban flight with a 2010 paper on the feasibility of the helicopter-like vehicles. Moore will act as Director of Engineering at Uber Elevate, which is what the ride-hailing company calls its exploration of airborne on-demand drives.

Hiring Moore on came after the NASA veteran consulted on Uber’s recent white paper on VTOL craft, according to Bloomberg. The engineer was impressed by Uber’s work on the subject, and saw a chance to make the vision he’d originally articulated years ago into something real, in a reasonable time scale. Moore said that key to his decision to join Uber was that the company seemed to have a practical business case for making a flying commuter transit service real – and nothing would ever get done without market motivation behind the vision.

Uber has articulated its vision for “on-demand aviation” as networks of small vehicles that can take off and land vertically, are powered by electric sources, and have ranges of between 50 and 100 miles on a single charge. The ultimate goal is to have these operate autonomously, summoned via an app on a passenger’s phone, but in the near-term Moore tells Bloomberg that we’ll probably see a bunch of competing designs hit the field that operate well but with human pilots for now.

VTOL are a pursuit of other companies, too, including two startup funded by Google’s Larry Page, and commercial aviation giant Airbus, which is exploring similar territory to Uber with its own Vahana project. The appeal of the service is not only the ability to ease congestion and bypass ground traffic, but also to eventually achieve cost efficiencies that could make VTOL taxis more profitable over the long-term.

Uber’s Elevate is far from offering us actual on-demand airborne taxis service, but Uber is serious about pursuing the tech, and will look to host a summit of those interested in the field to help coordinate efforts to achieve practical VTOL transit sometime early this year.



Loading comments for Uber hires NASA aircraft engineer to help develop flying cars at Uber Elevate...


Recommended

American Airlines is first retrofit customer for Airbus’ new Airspace XL luggage bins on its A321 fleet

Larger overhead luggage bins offer 40 percent more storage space for carry-on bags Project includes cabin upgrades for 202 A321s Airbus takes major step into US services market with its largest...

Boeing Board Raises Dividend 20 Percent, Establishes $18 Billion Share Repurchase Authorization

The Boeing board of directors declared the company's quarterly dividend will increase 20 percent to $1.71 per share. The board also replaced the existing share repurchase program wi...

Falcon Aviation celebrates first year at Dubai South FBO with IS-BAH Accreditation

Falcon Aviation is celebrating the completion of its first anniversary at its FBO in the VIP Terminal at Al Maktoum International Airport (Dubai South) with the news that it has been awarded Internati...

Astronics Advanced Electronic Systems Announces Certification of CorePower® System on Pilatus PC-24

Astronics Corporation, a leading supplier of advanced technologies and products to the global aerospace, defense and semiconductor industries, announced today that its CorePower® System, provided...