Metro VTOL Aircraft/Passenger-Drones - Yet Another Wingnut Rambling

Hi gang. I was thinking (oh no)…

1,2, and 4 passenger Vertical Takeoff Or Landing aircraft/drones… is probably going to happen, and be used in metro areas… heavily (eventually). Take-offs are safe… usually computer/ATC controlled, but landings… in heavy metro air-traffic around the Mall of America, (for example)… rough.

I’m thinking there will be 8 “spokes” or “radials”… what some might call “victor routes”… to the “congestion area”. These “r-nav” air-highways… are all controlled by networking/computers/sensors. No “free-flying” allowed on any “spoke” to a congested hub. My figs… you can enter a victor route to almost anywhere… from maybe 100 miles from the “hub”… and the computer(s) will “take you in”, automatically. It’s all been dreamed-up, way before this… and not by me. Essentially… The Jetsons. :slight_smile:

But landing… at the mall… and then taxiing and parking… there’s just SO much potential for hell to happen there, that… I was thinkin’ about something different. Do we have any pilots on the forum?

A BIG FUNNEL that is also a wind-tunnel. Coming to the mall in your personal passenger drone… computers and autopilot take you (and your approved craft)… to a point of “hovering over the wind-funnel”.

THEN… negotiation happens, and gently and automatically, the craft engines throttle down and the wind-funnel’s fans/nozzles… take-over the hover. (Like a baseball catcher’s mitt).

When the wind-funnel “has” the aircraft… it lowers it to the bottom of the wind-funnel where your craft is put on a little trolley car and then you pick your parking area and the trolly system will eventually get you there.

When you leave the mall, or want the trolley system to park your craft in a different “lot”… same trolley… all computer-routed (even miles away to other businesses).

Leaving the mall (departure)… is easy… no need for wind-funnel or anything fancy. Straight up from a mall launch pad… automatically set-onto one of the 8 victor-route spokes extending from that hub… away you go… no touch of any controls until you get back near the farm… in the suburbs… 62 miles away… where you live. :slight_smile:

SO, I was thinkin’… about a physics-active “smart bowl” and “smart box”. Thinkin’ about… being able to “throw” a 10-mass boxImpostor… into a bowl/funnel… with fast enough sensors on the bowl or on the box… to cause just the right applyImpulse sequences… to “catcher’s mitt” the box… even at toss-in’s from angles. (non-overhead-drop, too)

Fans of the show “Eureka” might remember an episode where zombie-ish teens “built” a type of catcher’s mitt for an inbound projectile. It might be fun to do some experiments… to see how well we could use JS and physics engine… to try something similar (and maybe find it useful at the shopping malls and city-centers, in a few years).

In order to “sim” a wind-funnel, the down-facing surface of the inbound projectile… will need to be applyImpulsed with MANY little baby impulses… often (probably). That is the way to simulate “air jet ports” on the insides of the “catchers mitt” funnel.

If the inside of the catcher’s mitt air-funnel has 100 air-jets firing hard… to safely brake and catch the projectile (no breaking the necks of passengers, eh?)… then 100 applyImpulses need to be applied to the inbound projectile… at appropriate angles (fake air-blasts/plumes). Coooool, huh? Fake wind-tunnels.

We’re going to catch them with the wind funnel, and not via landing thrusters on the craft. Propellers back-whacking to do hover… is too noisy and burns too much battery. The “smart” landing pad needs to do the altitude descent. Safer… and more streamlined, by far. The aircraft’s engines will probably be needed for lateral braking (coming to hover at some altitude above wind-funnel) (arrived at hub). Thoughts?

Ok, that’s enough for THIS rambling… all comments and mad scientist experiments… welcomed. I think I’m getting ready to move… south (55 miles)… become a mobile home owner. Holy cow! I’m movin’ down in the world! (Wingy thumbs the YellowPages for “furniture-moving drones” and “packing bots”… but finds nothing.) heh. kbye.

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hahah, good luck on your move. And if you are talking about doing some wind tunnel sims that would be dope.

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What? Ya didn’t read my post, meticulously, one-end to the other? Use your browser control-mousewheel to do “big font mode” and then it reads like a child’s storybook… and with similar intellectual depth. ha. :wink:

PS: I fell asleep about 1/4-way thru AUTHORING that post, so, I can’t really remember WHAT I talked about. I lost interest, mid-writing. :slight_smile:

Hi again. Early tests…

Pretend that each of the 8 panels has an air-jet port… aimed at a “catchpoint” that is 50 units above center of “bowl”. Line 66 sets the power of all air-jets, and lines 68-77 fires all the air-jet pulses… often. :slight_smile:

I drop a 10-mass sphere from far above, and it… hmm… soft-lands to a degree. Change windpower to 0.0 for fast-drop (and likely drone damage).

I think I need a distance checker from sphere to ground, and use that distance in the thruster computer. ie. Low windpower when sphere is still very high-altitude, but more windpower when nearer to ground. (a slowing descent, like a helicopter might do). Should be easy to add.

Feel free to modify and torture this PG series… love it. Save new versions/discoveries, then show’n’tell the URL and its story… right here in this thread. FUN!

Do you think maybe someday… this passenger drone landing system… might be called “The Bee and Flower” system? :wink: Perhaps flower petals are soft and bouncy for a good reason - gentle for insect landing gear. heh.

I added some stuff. <3

You should do a cube next:

for each one of the ‘air paths’ that you are calculating you will need to check the rotation of the cube and see if it rotated so the point is tword the path or the face and then lerp between the two drag coefs.

That will be a fun lil simulation.

:slight_smile: Drag? Air molecules? I’m scared. Actually, in a real life situation, the deviceOrientation sensor in the landing craft… likely will be streaming data at the wind-funnel. Even if the wind-funnel is completely controlling the vertical descent to trolley/parking, the craft COULD attempt to keep itself level… via small fins/vanes on each corner of the craft… with tilt/not, against the wind-funnel’s blow-harding. :slight_smile:

The craft can probably keep itself level and un-rotated… without needing to precision-vary the wind-funnel air-jets power/aiming.

But tilting airfoils on the crafts… can freeze-up or be poorly maintained by flyer owners, so… maybe the wind-funnel DOES need flyer drift-control/leveling… FOR the craft. The air-jet nozzles COULD be variable power (valves)… but I would want to avoid mechanical aiming of the wind-funnel air-jet nozzles.

With 8 air-jet nozzles, and fully-variable thrust power, we shouldn’t need to do air-jet-nozzle aiming. Craft drift, bad center-of-gravity/cargo-loading… etc… SHOULD be able to be compensated-for… with enough air. :slight_smile: