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Flying Car Redux

I know I discussed this last year, but it’s such a cool idea, it deserves another mention. And now that the military’s attached, I think we can all say this is no longer a joke but an inevitability. Check ‘er out:

DARPA Kick-Starts Flying Car Program

It’s scary to think of the black ops crowd getting a new, more efficient way to invade the tiny spaces of the planet, but I’m imagining the arc of this story to go the same way the humvee story went. The army boys got the humvee in the early 80s, the soccer moms got the hummer in the early 90s. There’s no information on when this thing will go into production (they’re still not sure they’ll be able to design it), but let’s say it comes out in the teens. We’ll be seeing the consumer model up in Westchester in the twenties or so. We can all run our own little surveillance missions then. By that time, though, with the Singularity kicking in, the hive mind might preclude the need for surveillance (we’ll all know everything about everybody), armed forces, and hopefully black ops.

There’s one fly in the ointment. They want this to go amphibious, and not just to have the ability to float across the Yangtze when the time comes to reinvade Tibet. They want this to be an underwater as well as a flying vehicle. At one time in my life I learned how to scuba dive and let me tell you, even with my head as dense as it is, it was difficult to get to the bottom of the pool without a bunch of lead weights. But adding weight to make yourself submersible is going to make it hard for you to fly. I’m imagining some sort of contrivance that has balloon type appendages that can fill with gas to get you up and then fill with water to get your down.

But who knows what we’ll end up with. Loons and cormorants fly and dive. It obviously can be done and if it can be done, by god, the U.S. Military will get it done. We might not be able to figure out how to get a public option, but we will get our flying car!

Sue Lange
Sue Lange’s website

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