July 30th, 2012
Episode 182 of 590 episodes
Gareth Mitchell meets the engineers who are designing flying cars and green aircraft. Gareth has a go at flying a personal aircraft in the flight simulator at Liverpool University. Doctors Mike Jump and Mark White explain that the EU-funded project MyCopter is seriously looking at the prospect of flying personal vehicles that are as easy to drive as a car. Sophie Robinson, a Ph.D student at Liverpool University, explains how her research into the safety and stability of auto-gyros, flying machines that already exist for personal travel, could set standards for the flying cars of the future. Prof Jeff Jupp, who worked on the wings of the largest passenger plane, the A380, talks about alternative fuels to kerosene and new designs for engines. These look rather old-school, as they have propellers, but they will make the aircraft more energy efficient. But there may be a downside in that they could be noisier and slower than jet engines. Dr Will Graham describes the work he has done on the Silent Aircraft project, in which the engines are set inside the wings. (Image: The SkyRider, one of the concepts of the MyCopter project. Image courtesy of Gareth Padfield, FS&C)
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