RAF R&D outsourced ....
To Sinclair Research. On the day the new Typhoon is announced, the project to find the next generation of fighter aircraft is awarded to Sir Clive 'Blue Sky' Sinclair.
Sir Clive Sinclair yesterday pretty well put the kibosh on the possibility of humanity ever getting behind the controls of a flying car by declaring them "technically entirely possible". Speaking to BBC Radio 4's PM programme, Sir Clive said the future of personal transportation would, of course, have to be electric-powered, …
Maybe it's just me, but I can't stand the bloke. He personifies everything that was ever wrong with the British electronics industry and I'm not just talking about the C5.
Everything he ever made was over-hyped shoddy tat. Remember the Black Watch? One of the first digital watches, except the batteries lasted about 10 days and it couldn't tell the time properly.
And they gave him a knighthood.
Imagine the airspace above home county town centres on a Friday night, full of 'ladz' (tm), buzzing around in the sky in their souped up Citroen Spitfire GTIs.
Or commuting traffic full of BMW Fokkers. (Not much change there)
Or school run mums landing on top of each other at the school launch pad with their Honda VTOLs
On the plus side, we could all grow handlebar moustaches and start saying stuff like 'Chocks away', 'Tally Ho' and 'Back to Blightly' again...
Is Sir Clive really saying that we're facing a future where chavs in airborne Vauxhall Novas go zooming around?
Time to ask my American friends to teach me how to handle shotguns, rocket launchers, et cetera. If some quarterwit is going to buzz me then I'm entitled to defend myself. With large calibre ordonance.
The photo is awesome and nearly had me choking on my tea. Thanks for cheering up a dull morning!
One problem with electric flying cars is that batteries are heavy. So there would be need for a radical improvement in battery technology to make such a concept viable. Alternatively, more efficient fuel cells would have to be developed.
But electric motors do have one major advantage: They are fairly light themselves when compared to combustion engines. This will not fully compensate for added "fuel" weight, though.
CLive Sinclair (before he became, Sir Clive) was really into the Zilog Z80 processor family - all his little, er, 'computers', were based on it.
In Z80 Assembly language, C5 was PUSH BC, which could be construed as 'Push ByCycle' if you take a mental squint at it. However, I prefer to think that it was simply his initials, in that 1980's sort of computer font C5 would have looked almost exactly like CS.
Mine is the one with the big furry hood.
You wowed us with the LED wristwatch, the ZX80, ZX81 and of course the Speccy....then "that" was released and you became just another eccentric, millionaire British inventor who appeared to have finally flipped his lid. Sorry Clive old son, but no-one's gonna listen anymore...unless you get James Dyson to build it for you of course!
I watched a movie `The AbsentMinded Professor` once and he invented a flying car. He used a revolutionary substance which he invented called Flubber. I think this Flubber stuff is the way forward.
Why has no-one harnessed its power? He invented it in 1961. Robin Williams also more recently discovered it. Only Robins dances around and stuff.
The wonders of electric cars, flying or not, forever seem to cover up the truth about them - they're no more eco friendly than the trusty combustion engine.
If we all go "Electric", where do we get the 'juice' from? From coal fired/oil fired/gas fired (or worse still) neuclear powerstations. Yeah, that makes real eco-sense....NOT!
Maybe we'll all have little windmills mounted on the bonnets? Hey, what about those dumb looking hats with the helicopter blades on them? Maybe Sir Clive could programme one to take us wherever we want???
... and no - I'm not a tree-hugger, just well and truly pissed off with all these "lets be green and have an electric car" types. And as for fuel cells - oh sure, pumps out H2O at the back end, but how much power did it take to actually charge the cell in the first place, never mind build the vehicle....
The only true eco friendly power source for cars is either to WALK, CYCLE or if you must have 4 wheels; go solar powered.
grump grump grump, moan moan moan.
The C5 was so close to being a success story it's unbelievable. Just a few minor adjustments: make it taller and narrower, using two wheels arranged one in front of the other. Add a reasonable source of motive power and you've got the Honda CG125, whose popularity worldwide speaks for itself I think.
If Clive calls the flying machine Spectrum, it'll succeed for no good reason. Otherwise it'll sink like a stone. That's my prediction, as a futurologist.
1. an authoritative rule or law; a decree or command.
2. a public injunction or regulation: a city ordinance against excessive horn blowing. (ooh err)
3. something believed to have been ordained, as by a deity or destiny.
a. an established rite or ceremony.
b. a sacrament.
c. the communion.
1. cannon or artillery.
2. military weapons with their equipment, ammunition, etc.
3. the branch of an army that procures, stores, and issues, weapons, munitions, and combat vehicles and maintains arsenals for their development and testing.
You're both 1/8 wits.
But then you never managed to build a (working) ZX81 from the kit, did you?
The only way that a flying car is realistically feasible if its something like the Ohio Airships Dynalifter, which is a dirigible that requires propulsion to get off the ground. Gasoline costs $10/gallon in the UK (and coming up on $5/gal here), so the only thing that is going to happen is everybody can tie a balloon to their bicycle, and pedal really fast.
(Actually, I have an A-Bike, and its the best conversation starter ever invented. Now if only I could pick up hot chicks with it...)
We already have (unmanned) high altitude endurance aircraft that use solar power as their main power source; and with a number of the recent nanotech breakthroughs promising 10x more power from the same size solar panel I think it's not unreasonable to expect that we could see solar powered personal "aircraft" in the next 10-15 years.
As for the piloting, he's already said "fully automatic"; so other than the usual issues involving defective IT projects that's covered too.
I think he could be on the money this time!
As for those of you who can't see the difference between Sinclair and Sugar... Hint, one is an inventor and scientist, the other is a pile it high sell it cheap uber-salesman.
Did Clive ever really invent anything?
His one succesful product the zx80 and Spectrum computers were hardly original. The TRS80 was available 3 years before anything from Sinclair.
He was first with the "pocket" calculator, but calcualtors were steadily shriking in size -- and it had seriously limited functionality compared with the HP-35 launched a few months later. (Texas Instraments holds the first patent on hand held calculators).
The crappy "Black Watch" came out a full five years after the first digital watch.
...is all the more likely to hit on the next quantum leap,so don't write off a man who eschews participation the Internet hive mind.
If Einstein had attended properly to the new, improved cuckoo clock designs crossing his desk at the Swiss Patent Office, he wouldn't have had time to dream of looking at his image in the mirror while travelling at the speed of light.
As for practical personal flying cars, an elite group of Hollywood scribblers have had them for years (I refer, of course, to the famous Ghost Writers in the Sky).
Well it might seem irrational but seriously, the American, Japanese and Korean electronics industries weren't headed by people who you needed to "have a soft spot for".
Instead, they made products that actually worked and that people wanted to buy. Then by and large they used the profits from these and invested them in the next generation - and so on.
Which is why they have electronics industries and we, broadly speaking, don't.
Whilst I'm not qualified to handle an ATR or other kind of BFG I am qualified to teach archery and am rather good with a bow and arrow. Until New Labour outlaw that as well.
1/8 wit? If I can survive bombings, critical illnesses and riots to name but three then I'd rather have my 1/8 than your perceived full compliment any day.
Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2021