Let us consider a more practical device than the electric car — a flying car, which would fly only with the use of wind or a solar or geothermal power. The most typical use of this might be in the space sector.
A flying car would need a flight envelope to be less than 80 km (50 statute miles), which means the car couldn’t exceed 5 minutes of lift-off period. Even so, such a car is unlikely for a long time. Flying cars in the 2030’s probably would be used as a research platform, where they need to fly at greater heights than normal. The longer the time to get to certain locations, the higher the cost. If a space taxi had to fly only in 3 minutes at 30 km altitude, this would cost almost 200 million euros. If the cost was 100 million euros, then flight could be free of charge. What kind of vehicle could it be? A plane of course, but with an aerostats instead of wings. The aerostats would be powered by a battery and the airplane would have to be powered by a gas turbine, because the aerostats will not be able to fly without high lift.
The aerostats would be driven either by the use of batteries of electric motors, or by the combustion of compressed air to provide power. In the case of a compressed air turbine, this might cause serious problems in terms of battery maintenance, which needs to be taken into account.
What would be the flight envelope for an aerostat? The answer to that question depends to some extent on the size of the aerostat. A very small aerostat might only fly over a few kilometers, and at that distance, it is easier to maintain the aerostat, because it is relatively small size. There would still be problems with maintenance if the aerostat has to operate only a few more kilometers. A larger aerostat over an area of 100km would be an advantage, because the maintenance would take place only on the outside of the aerostat, whereas large aerostats are likely to be subjected to extensive maintenance.
It would be useful to define different flight envelope in comparison to other vehicles, so that a detailed picture of the potential flying car can be produced. A very small, flying car has a flight envelope of only 3-5 minutes to reach a position, which is much smaller than that of a moving vehicle. Let us assume for the sake of argument that the average vehicle has only a lift-
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