Electric Flight

e-volo VC200 04

First manned flight of the Volocopter VC200

This already happened back in April.  It’s worth a look around their website for all the latest information and pictures:  http://www.volocopter.com/index.php/en/

Truly astonishing – With a hybrid version for range, in the short term, new battery technologies being developed and integrated flight corridors to manage autopilots we could soon be flying with less noise, disruption and pollution than using the roads.  That’s the dream of course, and we’d have to accept the sky being full of people, plus this won’t replace road and rail for mass commuting, but it might in the end be better than motorways choked with traffic and fumes – – – ?

“A positive aspect of electric vehicle development is the rapid development of battery technology throughout the world. A considerable increase in battery capacity is anticipated in the near future, enabling increased flight duration. In the meantime we are working in parallel on the integration of a serial hybrid drive to extend the application options of the Volocopter.”

Here’s the video on YouTube:



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Skylon – A New Hope

Skylon in orbit I went to a symposium on future space launchers sometime in the mid-70’s and listened to Alan Bond talk about a project called HOTOL.  It was a new idea for launching people and goods into space in a safer, more reliable and cheaper way.  Not long afterwards the U.K. government gave a small amount of money to the project and classified the design of the engines.

Alan Bond is now a director of Reaction Engines Ltd, working on the descendant of HOTOL.  It’s called SKYLON and could put the United Kingdom at the forefront of a new space age.  Check it out from the link under ‘Other Sites’.

Anyone who thinks space technology isn’t important should consider that GPS systems, weather forecasting, disaster relief and even the best way to plough a field are all dependent on satellites.

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Space is not somewhere else – – –

Bruce McCandless Ever since the Apollo moon landings space exploration has become boring or irrelevant to many people.  I think it’s because we still think in medieval terms:  The sun rises and sets, and space is somewhere else.  The reality, first witnessed by the crew of Apollo 8 in 1968, is that we all live on a space platform and always have.

Quite soon it will be easy, relatively cheap and above all safe to take a trip into Earth orbit.  My wish would be for every serving Head of State, and every one newly elected, to take that trip, see the Earth as it really is and better understand it as the only home we have.

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Welcome to the Life Form Design blog – – –

This is the new blog for Life Form Design, ‘Tertiary’ the novel and various rolling notes and ideas.  Nothing much here yet, I’m setting up the page and will be back soon.

The heading image is artwork for ‘Tertiary’.  It’s where we’ve been (maybe), not where I think we are going.  The novel, and this blog, are both concerned with positive futures and how we might get there.

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