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Helicopter or Plane?

Which one do you think will become the first to be widely used by the masses? hover planes similar to the harrier. or just good old helicopters?

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    Aug 14 2013: As we are around peak oil, bicycles I assume ...
    • Aug 14 2013: Peak oil? you mean like we're running out? Because that's entirely false with the ability to frac the united states has more oil than the middle east ever did and it's estimated that we will actually be exporting in 2020.
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        Aug 14 2013: Then people may not even be able to afford bicycles anymore, as they have to spend most of their savings on scarce drinking water, once this renewable resource has been contaminated beyond repair past 2020 in the US.

        Hydraulic Fracturing already is Plan B on the declining side and your nation has to decide if its worth the price to trade it for...
        • Aug 14 2013: What scarce drinking water? we aren't even close to running out of fresh water and if we do we would just purify ocean water. And Fracing isn't plan be it's plan A we have plenty of oil for a far foreseeable future.
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        Aug 14 2013: This sort of mindset is what continuous to create the wastelands for future generations to come, which have no say in this, because most of them aren't even born yet.

        What energy source will be there for seawater desalination? What energy source to distribute the water throughout whole countries? And if Hydraulic Fracturing was plan A, why didn't then became the US the world leading oil exporter already? And how many years spans a foreseeable future? And how do you define the point to start pushing for alternatives? How many dollars per barrel would that be? And would those remaining fossils be enough to manage the change for the majority of the people to be affordable? And how much more pollution can the climate manage to finally collapse on us? Yet I assume that the 'climate change' is a conspiracy theory to you anyway... :o)
        • Aug 14 2013: Listen we have enough oil for easily 100 years or more and the fact that we ARE using alternative energies now is good but they are very economically inefficient (for the most part) and the people who are charge know this and it's why we aren't discarding oil any time soon. Now i believe we should use renewable energies obviously but not until they are cheap enough to be used worldwide. This is because the climate isn't going to collapse on us yes it's changing but it's always doing so. As for the fracing of course we aren't exporting right now it's a very new technology it isn't even 5 years old. Climate change isn't a conspiracy you're right but it's just the fall back plan for those who believed in global warming to go back on because since their previous theory was disproven those same people instead of saying they were completely wrong had to adopt one that could NEVER be disproven in any way as we are in an ever changing world.
        • Aug 14 2013: Also we are still not even close to running out of fresh water i'm not very sure where you get that idea from.
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        Aug 15 2013: Charles, ‘economical efficiency' on environmental matters is irrecognizable on short term views and thats why alternative energies will fall short compared to fossil fuels, because no one is able (and willing) to price in the cost of fossil fuel side effects for a comparative calculation.

        You could compare this to forest management. The economically most efficient way was just to cut the trees and sell them, and to continue business you just move on to another forests once the first one is gone. On short view, reforestation is no option, because it only produces costs, whereas the final resource of this wood is out of reach of the current generation of woodsman. So if the forest management only relies its decisions on ‘economical efficiency', the creation of future wastelands is guaranteed, because the income which isn't spend on reforestation measures is plain todays profit.
        On the long run, this sort of management disables future generations to continue to benefit from the resources a forests, because there wouldn't be any forests left. There is a multitude of examples of this sort of destructive forest management in the past up to today, which changed whole landscapes forever.

        I you wait until alternative energies become 'cheap enough' compared to fossil fuels, you do not invest in the future by sparing the cost of todays 'reforestation'.

        The 'soothing' number of '100 years' you pulled out of the magician's hat is based on what assumptions? Estimated deposits by geologists on the payroll of big oil companies? How are this estimations formed? How precise are they? And who estimates the future consumption? Based on what trends? Linear, exponential, others? If you consider the exponential growth of the worlds population and the continues will of 2nd & 3rd world societies to gain the standard of living of the 1st, a 100 years is nothing compared to the necessity of the task to shift all of it to renewable energy sources, permanently.
        • Aug 15 2013: it isn't short term value for money that people are worried about man, it's the fact that if we spent billions on renewable energy it will all be out of date in 10 years and we could have used those billions of dollars to produce twice if not more energy.

          As for deforestation we have an unbelievable amount of trees and are literally nowhere near running out. But even then when we do the forest replanted by those that cut them down will have regrown starting a cycle.

          And no we shouldn't waste money on environmentally safe energies as long as there are still people starving and dying of aids and malaria in the world. This is one of the main problems i have with hardcore environmentalist they would rather help the environment than help our fellow man. Even if you wouldn't admit that it's very true for many many reason.

          I got over 100 years because my family is large investors in the business and have been for awhile now I have spoken and had dinner with those in charge of these things. Now of course if oil consumption explodes in demand for some unknown reason then of course it won't last that long but with so many people pushing for more efficiency and alternative power sources i feel as though it could last much longer than that. Also renewable energy isn't free still it requires maintenance and it costs so much just to set them up for so little energy output.

          And for climate change what scientific evidence? is the global temperature rising? no it has been the same since 1995 and i'm sorry but i really don't like the way you view businesses you are probably one of those that think we should take money from those that worked their asses off and give it away (even more than they do now).

          And really??? i seriously didn't know it was that old totally blown away right now wonder why they never used it. But getting a patent and having an idea is still nothing close to making it a reality they definitely never used it back then or maybe they did i shouldn't be guessing
        • Aug 15 2013: But i never actually researched when it came around my fellow engineering buddy who's working on that field mentioned that number just allitle off right there haha. But he probably wasn't wrong just meant that we're just now using it.

          And i'm sorry cigarettes and global warming are very different. Those that listened to global warming when it came out absolutely 100% percent believed it even though they knew nothing of the science and where listening to those who were wrong in every way. The average person has literally 0 idea how these things work and just listen to their heart because their mind doesn't know.

          Also with your profiting thing i wonder who profited from the global warming idea? everyone that did any work for any global warming and the "rich" who were in charge of it.

          And what i mean by the fall back is pretty simple everyone who thought global warming was true were proven completely incorrect and when global warming was disproven that's when climate change became popular. It was a political scam to distract the masses because that's what government does best and they still do. So i guess you can say government profits off of it very well.
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        Aug 15 2013: So if you still see the climate change as a natural phenomenon only, because 'it's always doing so', you are not just ignoring scientific evidence, but falsely think yourself safe while supporting the lobbyist work of a multi billion energy industry.

        If you would have done some research yourself, you could have known, that Hydraulic Fracturing is known to the industry since at least 1947 and got patented by the Halliburton Oil Well Cementing Company in 1949. So how you make up your 'facts' on this, stays unclear to me.

        I don't think it needs much imagination to conclude, that burning 'ancient biomass' and therefore releasing former bound climate influencing gases will have an influencing impact on the climate itself. This is no rocket science yet gets confused on purpose by the profiting industry. Thats not surprising at all. Just compare this to the tobacco industry and their long denial and aggressive lobbying to diffuse and to doubt the findings of medical investigations and how long it took for this knowledge to become 'true' enough to finally act upon it as societies.

        False statements are widely used to prolong and diffuse decision making processes, wasting precious time, like your '5 years old Hydraulic Fracturing technology'...

        Just follow the money and ask yourself who is profiting from what. So who profits from the concept of climate change NOT to be man made? And who profits to accept that it is?

        What I do not understand is your distinction between 'global warming' and 'climate change' and those 'fall back plan for those who believed' in the first. What do you mean by that? And who are 'those' you are referring to, and what would be 'their' interest 'they' are following?

        It seems to me you never imagined the magnitude of consequences which are related to this topic. Neither in terms of negative environmental consequences , nor in the unhealthy dependency we have on fossil fuels and the magnitude of both tasks to change positively for all generations.
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        Aug 15 2013: And as it seems you are also not informed about the upcoming problems in fresh water supply, you may have a look here, to get a understanding on this matter:

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peak_water

        And try to widen the sources of information as well and find out about the 'motives' and 'mindsets' of who is publishing what and in which way are 'they' profiting from that information. Is is about publishing 'findings' or is it about publishing 'interests'. As money can buy any so called 'expert expertise' it becomes crucial to understand the network of hidden 'dependencies' and 'independences', especially if its in the field of 'big money'.
        • Aug 15 2013: Ok well you didn't say upcoming water supply problems of course there will be there's problems with that right now in areas that never had the water in the first place.
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        Aug 15 2013: As for the water, we were talking about Hydraulic Fracturing, so I assumed you made the connection, that this method is endangering the ground water supplies, on which many people rely on. Especially in your given scenario that the US will have the world largest oil production in 2020. And because we are in 2013 the water issue is of course still to come if you are right in what you say.

        Your argument that 'renewable energy (it) will all be out of date in 10 years ' and therefor it doesn't make sense to invest today, is plain false. First of all it is based on the assumption, that this technology is going to be more efficient and cheaper, which may be true, but then you can never make any investment in any area at all. By this sort of thinking, you would never be able to buy yourself a computer, because you already know, that in one year you get a much faster one for the same price. What sort of argument is that to postpone urgent investments into an unknown future? Especially as I was trying to make you understand, that the time in which fossil fuels are still cheaper than alternative energy sources is crucial to get rid of this dependencies, because once the fossil fuel cut even, it will become even more expensive to get the change financed.

        'And no we shouldn't waste money on environmentally safe energies as long as there are still people starving and dying of aids and malaria in the world.'

        This is a connection I simply can't follow. What are you going to say here? Do you really believe, that the money we don't put into renewable energy to save the environment for all of us, including those who are starving and sick, will ever be transferred to those in need? I can assure you, that I very much support the idea to help those people, yet there is no connection to the investments we have to make to change our energy resources to renewables.
        • Aug 15 2013: Never heard that it could damage water supplies interesting.

          And yes i know what you're saying i completely agree with the idea of investing But seriously we don't have to do that right now we already have a way to support society with fossil fuels until we can make it economically efficient enough then of course we will but it's a problem that isn't a problem right now. We have actual problems to deal with trillions of dollars in debt countries starving and people an dying of disease. Also the cost of building enough environmentally friendly power stations to supply the whole country would by billions upon billions maybe into trillion the cost to output for them are drastically non portionable even if you are not supplying the whole country it would be a Massive price.
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        Aug 15 2013: Especially if you compare this to the current situation, or have you ever heard, that those private oil companies are donating into malaria and AIDS research programs or into food care programs for the starving? And we are talking about billions here, as you compared it to the investments into green energy, and not just some PR effective 'peanuts' donations.

        This argument doesn't hold at all, as it is neither realistic and can be transfered onto anything. What about all the military budgets? Or what a society spends on 'fashionable' clothing, which is short worn and quickly out of date. Wouldn't those redirected investments not also help the starving and the sick people? And both of these given alternative examples do anything good, compared to the implementation of environmentally friendly energy sources. Honestly, I don't know where you are getting your ideas from, but they are out of place as reasonable arguments.

        'As for deforestation we have an unbelievable amount of trees and are literally nowhere near running out.'

        This is because you didn't understand the analogy in which I was trying to explain to you of how a sustainable management across generation works. The 'trees' were used as an example to make clear, that 'investments into future generations' come alway with a price tag to the current generations. And if this price isn't payed today, then there will be nothing left but 'wastelands' for those to come. And as longer you wait with those investments, as more expensive they will be, or finally to late to have the impact needed for the change.
        • Aug 15 2013: "This argument doesn't hold at all, as it is neither realistic and can be transfered onto anything"

          You are suggesting that the only military power in the history of the world that has ever gone and helps the innocents of other random countries not only stop oppressors but rebuild and also do it for our enemies and then just leave (sometimes lol) but you think it should strip down to nothing as to feed those who are being shot? Along with this advancements into military technology it also has helped civilian technologies. And your idea of removing money from the people that they spend for clothes is a terrifying thought to me another reason i'm terrified if liberals get more power. You should be able to do what you want with what you earned. You shouldn't have to survive off nothing and live like a communist country that's what America is for freedom. But many people never see that they would rather have the government get bigger and control your life. You should go buy a gun too and lock it in a safe because once the government takes guns the people in charge (if corrupt) will have no reason to fear us anymore and they may start taking our cloths or money or better food or restaurants we can all live exactly the same in the same size houses with no hope for improvement.

          ps. Sorry for going all patriotic there for a second haha
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        Aug 15 2013: Yes, it will be a 'Massive price', there is no doubt about it but it is a problem 'Right Now'!

        And because of this, you can not start early enough to make this change happen, or do you really think, that there will ever be a time where countries aren't in tremendous dept? Right now the whole so called 'first world' is drowning in dept and new dept crisis are already preparing to get ready at the horizon. So what do those nations do if the price for fossil fuels is skyrocketing due to their future scarcity? Those who haven't started to change towards renewables won't get it started then. Thats why it is that urgent today, as the global economy isn't going to change back into still waters. On the contrary! The run for resources will become even harder in the near future than it is already, and there will be more competing nations at the starting line, than there are today!

        The most 'economically efficient' change starts now. Not tomorrow, not in 50 years, yet I assume you will not understand my arguments for it.

        The fact that you didn't know abut the risks which Hydraulic Fracturing has on groundwater makes clear to me, that you don't know much about that what you are 'positively' proposing here. Unfortunately, you are not alone!
        • Aug 15 2013: There's no evidence though that shows it's a problem now? the only places it's where it's highly concentrated like when putting waste in rivers (even though there are many places with polluted rivers that has nothing to do with technology) or do way worse things that normally america hires other countries for no matter what america does no other countries give a dam about the environment or its people (we sorta do that).

          And i'm sorry but it's only recently that our country has been in debt no successful countries throughout the history of ever were in debt all the time they only went into some recessions and pulled out of it or it collapsed the country entirely. There has never been a third option as history shows but it's the unpredictable future after all but i'm pretty sure you don't know what will happen.

          And yes again i do get your investment idea i already agreed with it it's to much profit from to little gain when it could be put to better use. It's a future thought not now though.

          Also i'm sorry but do you design they fracturing devices are you a chemical engineer or mechanical engineer and then do you have the specifications for these? or did you just google it and get it in layman's terms? If you're not an engineer in that field you do not even understand how much of a gap there is between those two knowledges i didn't even understand how little I knew of my subject (almost nothing) until i started my electrical degree.
        • Aug 15 2013: or are you a geologist?
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        Aug 15 2013: 'ps. Sorry for going all patriotic there for a second haha'

        You didn't understand a single word, so I will end this conversation here.
        • Aug 15 2013: I know exactly what you were saying it scared me that you would think like that.
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        Aug 15 2013: Because the consequences are scary.

        Anyway, keep up your patriotism, as you may need it soon.
        • Aug 15 2013: no because you and others are willing to take away what people own and earned.

          not patriotism brw it's just fact america has its faults we all know that.
  • Aug 13 2013: Neither.
    Both have been technologically feasible for decades, but have not been, and will not be economically or practically feasible anytime soon (or at all).

    Aircraft are more expensive to buy and maintain by an order of magnitude, accidents are more lethal (its safer today because airlines are built like a bus, not like private cars), and are inherently more difficult to pilot--I could teach a teenager to drive a car, but the controls of an aircraft are a great deal more difficult and expensive to learn.

    Honestly, drunk driving is bad enough without giving them something that falls from the sky...
    • Aug 13 2013: yes but planes are much much safer than cars statistacally. And as for maintenance and cost that's why it won't happen for awhile if you think about it though when cars first came out they were dangerous and hard to maintain. But another thing is i believe by the time we have hovercars or whatever all driving will be automatic like it already is in planes.
      • Aug 16 2013: Aircraft are currently safer than cars because the aircraft are currently flown in much smaller numbers, and operated by more professional people. The moment they go into the type of mass usage you're suggesting, that will no longer be true.

        As for automation, you can automate an airliner the same way you operate a train--they follow the same course every time, with no new obstacles or unforeseen problems. When you do have unforeseen problems, that's when a pilot needs to be on board to take over. You won't be able to automate personal aircraft for the same reason we don't automate personal cars today--that might change given time, granted.

        Now for the final nail in the coffin.
        Problem is, aircraft aren't new technologies anymore. They've been around for a hundred years now, and helicopters roughly half that time. All those initial kinks have been worked out of the system already, and I'm afraid all the maintenance and higher cost you see today isn't a result of an immature technology, but merely a result of the complexity of the engineering and physics involved.

        In other words, cost will never be as reducible as cars and trains, because its incapable of getting there on a fundamental level.
        • Aug 16 2013: No aircraft are safer because planes have less to run into and only serious accidents can cause a crash it isn't that they are in smaller numbers their percentage is much lower than cars proportionally. And automated flight will most likely be in any sort of flying car (maybe not for landing) this will make them even safer than planes today as computer very rarely fail.

          Automated flight not only is for when they are flying in a straight line and it does alot more than just keep the controls straight. Many larger airlines have computer assisted landing as well. And there are tons of automated cars and they have racked up thousands of hours and never crashed except for human errors.

          And perhaps that's true but you also must remember there are many many more cars being built maintained and designed compared to aircraft. More engineers are working with the cars than planes but many simpler planes (non jet) are as reliable as possible as they use internal combustion which is from cars and they require little maintenance.

          But maybe it won't ever be planes helicopter or cars. Have you seen the new hyper fast tube system idea that is coming around? faster and cheaper than anything out there.
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    Aug 12 2013: Neither. The reason why we currently still use fixed wing aircraft for the vast majority of aviation is that hovering and vertical take off and landing use enormous amounts of fuel. A four seat car might get 30mpg a four seat airplane might get 15mpg. A four seat helicopter will get maybe 7mpg at cruising speed plus you need to factor in that the helicopter still burns fuel at basically the same rate when stationary, landing, taking off etc. Until we find some ultimate power source, the efficiency of wheels will keep us on the ground.
    • Aug 13 2013: Well that's why this is a future possiblity.