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Are those Jetsons' flying cars ever arriving?
Do you remember the first time seeing an airplane or helicopter? Were you as thrilled as I was? Or maybe it was a butterfly, and you ruminated how it could stay airborne.
My father used to take me to the Tupelo, Mississippi, airport, and we’d sit near the end of the runway and watch the planes go by. It was magic. And it was especially cool that my father took some time out of his schedule to do something this neato with me.
From those early experiences that lead into the chucking GI Joe’s through the air hoping their parachutes would pop, to winding those fragile rubber band propellers on balsa wood airplanes, I grew up wanting to fly. It got so bad that after watching ‘Mary Poppins’ at the movies, I came home and jumped off our backyard swing set slide. I don’t remember doing that, but my mother does. She said the result was a good cry from a booboo.
Now I got smarter with age. Or, should have. So in my teens I bought a cargo parachute from a military surplus story, unfolded it, and held onto the ropes for dear life as I jumped from our single-story, house roof. I had it laid out just right to open quickly so I’d avoid an immediate thud. Need I say that it could have gone better.
Here I am, many years later, no less excited about flight and the way aviation is about to make a BIGLEY leap! This time I may get to experience flight up close and in person without the harsh landings. And with the fore chance to fly over Atlanta traffic, that’s an opportunity I eagerly await.
MEET GEORGE JETSON …
It’s been about 60 years since ‘The Jetsons’ launched onto black-n-white TV sets across the country. And while this irreverent and funny cartoon was the first to air in color on ABC, less than 3% of Americans had those in the early 60’s.
Nonetheless, if you asked any of us if the Jetsons’ high-tech, space age lifestyle was just Hollywood fantasy, we would argue otherwise. We believed one day we’d all have flying cars, robot maids and big screen TVs. After all, pilot Chuck Yeager broke the sound barrier in 1948 and the first human-made object to touch the moon’s surface was in 1959.
The robot maids may still be a while coming, and when they do we’ll have to make sure there are 72 different genders of them and not use the word “maid.” Yet, the flying cars, eVTOL’s (electric vertical take-off and landing aircraft), appear to be just around the corner. So let’s give a big “eep opp ork ah ah” in advance of these UAM (Urban Air Mobility) craft projected to come online over the next couple of years.
If you were unaware, the FAA is fully onboard by creating regulation pathways for UAM. United and Delta, to name a couple, are throwing millions its way. And the first manufacturing facility for one builder broke ground near Atlanta in March of this year.
According to an article from The Covington (Georgia) News, Archer Aviation Inc. announced it began construction March 2 on a site adjacent to Covington Municipal Airport (Georgia) for the facility to manufacture electric vertical takeoff and landing aircraft, the company said in a news release.
Now I could write about this all night. Living through another major shift in transportation is super exciting.
According to Jaclyn Trop at Robb Report: With the potential to have a much larger fleet than commercial airlines, eVTOLs represent the next frontier in air travel: fully electric air taxis and private sky limos that can take off and land from vertiports in congested cities, or travel from private airports across regions faster than a train.
Let’s do a small exercise in memory. Take a moment to remember your own story of flight. Scary? You’ll never do it again? It was better than watching the Jetsons? I’m doing it right now. And those feelings of wonderment, simple joy, and, for certain, simpler times, flood my mind. I think of when my elementary school teacher rolled in that two-ton TV set on a big, metal cart, to watch the moon shot. Such anticipation.
And, quite frankly, it was a time when a majority of Americans could unite behind something grand and glorious. Active civics not accosted by petty or destructive politics. When the forces of elitism and bloated bureaucracies weren’t trying to destroy our country. It was just plain fun. People cheered achievement, were happy for our nation, hugged one another, and some even cried for joy.
The UAM industry may not just be on the brink of revolutionizing aviation, but helping reignite a spirit of America that few technological waves have the capability of doing.
Ciao for now and wishing you a happy Eep Opp Ork Ah Ah!