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Electric Flight – Its Coming

As we all know, electric cars are all the rage. What about electric flight? Is it even possible?

Electric Planes

It is not only possible, but electric airplanes are here already, albeit with some obstacles remaining. The main obstacle is the FAA. For some strange reason, they think that electric motors aren’t as reliable as infernal combustion engines. Other less backward nations are charging ahead (excuse the pun). Check out this article describing some electric aircraft ready for production.

Electric Multi-copters

You may already be familiar with an amazing type of hobby R/C aircraft resembling a helicopter, but instead of one central drive shaft, they employ 4, 6, or even 8 or more, separated by spokes. The go by various names such as quadri-copter and octo-copter. They are small, electric-powered, and can do amazing things like carry full size digital cameras and still climb straight out of sight in mere seconds. Their stability is 100% due to built-in accelerometers. They can even fly themselves with on-board GPS.

The question begs to be asked – is it possible to scale these things up for human flight? Ponder no more – it can and has been done. This 16-copter aircraft has … Read the rest

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Getting around at the Mall

Don’t you sometimes wish for a little power assist when shopping big places like the mall and box stores? Check out this one-wheel Segway/Unicycle cross. You stand on it, so it is kind of like a unicycle that you must stand on. The source maintains it goes 15 miles on a 2 hour charge. It sounds like it might have some kind of use. With all the DIY Segways being built (see here & here), this one should be just as easy.

One idea I have is making an electric skateboard that starts and stops when you step on/off it. I think it would be easier to use. The only downside is restrictions on skateboarding due to misuse by kids. I think heelies are also great, but also banned in most stores.

Could an electric heely be built? Would store personnel kick out a responsible adult using any of these devices? I can really see their use in the big box stores like Walmart, Home Depot and Lowes. Sometimes you get tired when you have to transverse the entire store several times.

Any ideas? Please contribute some of your own ideas and projects in the comments section.

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