就像Marty McFly由香蕉提供动力的 “德罗宁” 时光机一样，未来一代的飞行汽车可能颠覆所有飞行都对气候有害的观念。最新研究日前发表于《自然—通讯》杂志。
Like Marty McFly's banana-powered “Dronin” time machine, future generations of flying cars may overturn the notion that all flights are harmful to the climate. The latest research was published in the journal Nature-Communication.
Companies such as Rolls Royce, Lilym, and Vertical Aviation have argued that flying cars may be a form of green transportation, although they require a lot of energy to take off.
The first studies on the environmental impact of such vertical takeoff and landing vehicles (VTOLs) suggest that their supporters may be right, at least in some cases.
Gregory Keoleian and colleagues at the University of Michigan found that if VTOLs were launched, they would emit 6% less emissions than an electric car driving more than 100 kilometers.
“VTOLs have a particularly high energy consumption during the takeoff and landing process. However, the flight during the cruise phase is very efficient, and when flying over long distances, if it is full, it can compete with the efficiency of the ground vehicle,” Keoleian said.
Flying cars also have an advantage: they can avoid the winding route and fly in a straight line.
However, do not act rashly now. The difference is very small and faces several blows. First of all, the flying cars don't exist yet - they are currently in the prototype stage.
These prototypes rely on electric propulsion and can land vertically like a helicopter to act as an air taxi. But another problem is that this study is a bit like a comparison between apples and oranges.
The researchers assume that each electric car carries an average of 1.54 passengers, while the passengers and drivers of the flying car are three and one. The reason for this assumption is that the flying car will provide a shared taxi service like UberPool, but in fact electric cars can do the same. In addition, due to the need for energy during take-off, the emissions from the flight below 35 km will exceed that of electric vehicles.
Keoleian and his team concluded that flying cars may have a place in the field of sustainable transportation. However, even if they prove to be green, they have many obstacles to overcome.