Cl/Cd Ratio & Competitiveness of Personal Aviation & Aircars 1999-01-2893
A new application is proposed for a light aircraft in personal transportation - that is of a long range grand tourism vehicle; the role it can perform much better than an automobile. Light aircraft more conventional usage for short ranges is more suitable for business goals. A convertible road to air vehicle (aircar) having a high CL/CD ratio is considered to be the most suitable means of personal transportation in the future. A rather low CL/CD of previously built aircars is considered to be one of the reasons of their failure in the past. A narrow road module having a controlled body tilt and a high aspect ratio wing are proposed as remedies. Simple original equations comparing light aircraft expenses against that of an automobile or an airliner ticket cost are proposed. They show that the light aircraft costing up to $35K per passenger at CL/CD =12 can be competitive with an airliner on a range of up to 2,500 miles and an aircar at CL/CD =20 or more of up to 12,000 miles. It is suggested that a VTOL converticar having a stopped /rotated high aspect ratio wing-rotor is able to become the main means of personal aviation in the future in densely populated areas.