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03:40 PM on 09/04/2012
Look, it's a human powered hovercraft!

Wake me up when this thing can actually hover 300 feet above the ground, outside of ground effect. And, yes, please, lose that building around it. We need AIRcraft, not air supported powered indoor chairs.

07:59 PM on 09/04/2012
It's not supposed to be at all practical, these are a bunch of college engineering students that set out to do something cool.
08:52 PM on 09/04/2012
Yeah, but is it really that cool to hover a desperately cycling freshmen a few feet off the ground in a ground-effect mode?

I think these guys are plenty good to build real aircraft that actually make sense. So why don't they? What's NOT cool about that?
08:31 PM on 09/04/2012
What, you again Swift? The really sad part is you have no imagination, and even wish to announce this time and again to the world at large. By your faulty logic, all human physical endeavour, like bike riding for sport or leisure, is folly because there are machines and stores of energy that could do the job more efficiently. The fact they made such significant gains in altitude must sting you awfully bad for you to take lame side swipes again. The saddest thing to me is that fifty years from now, when strong materials of engineering are lighter by orders of magnitude, and someone *is* hovering under human power alone at an altitude you would respect, you'll be too infirm to appreciate it.
08:57 PM on 09/04/2012
I don't know what kind of logic you are using to get from "THIS is folly!" to "EVERYTHING humans do is folly!", but whatever it is, it is faulty.

Please have it fixed and then we can talk about doing something useful... like... how about building an electrically powered plane (maybe using fuel cells)? Not an RC plane but a real one, for one or two people, that could get FAA approval, with e.g. 100-200 miles radius? Now that I would love to see. And not just as a student project but eventually as a spinout.

What are the chances for a spinout company making this contraption, do you think? And what are the chances that these students are learning how to build an INDUSTRIAL STRENGTH plane or helicopter that can actually safely transport people?

Just wondering...

Seriously, it's time.
01:58 PM on 09/04/2012
Jeez, people. Sort out that awful pedalling position. You need a minute and a half's effort, it's a painful sprint. Stand on the pedals.