A Texas company aims to sell short recreational flights later this year in a one-seater electric aircraft it has designed that can be controlled by a joystick without requiring a pilot’s license.
It is one of the startups vying with aerospace giants Boeing Co and Airbus to develop electric “vertical takeoff and landing” aircraft, which typically have multiple spinning rotors to produce lift. Many models resemble unmanned aerial drones, only much larger and with seats for passengers.
LIFT Aircraft may end up being the first to sell pleasure rides in such a vehicle, in part because it says the aircraft is light enough to be considered an “ultralight” vehicle by the Federal Aviation Authority.
It has no relationship to the ride-sharing app, Lyft.
Ultralight vehicles, a category that includes hang gliders, can be flown by someone without a license under FAA rules. LIFT says its 18-rotor Hexa aircraft weighs around 426 pounds (196 kg), including floats to allow it to bob on water and a parachute for emergencies. All told, LIFT says the FAA has validated the company’s interpretation of the ultra-light regulations for the Hexa.
“We really envision a future where anyone can fly,” Matt Chasen, LIFT’s founder, said in an interview. “We truly are on the cusp of a revolution in aviation and it’s being brought about by the electrification of aircraft. Much like electric cars are going to be the future of driving, electric aircraft are going to be the future of flying.”
Chasen is planning to sell rides near cities around the United States later this year.
Customers would first spend time learning the controls in a simulator before climbing into a Hexa to fly for up to 15 minutes, the maximum amount of time that can be safely allowed by the batteries.
The aircraft can fly at speeds of up to 55 knots (63 miles per hour), the maximum allowed for ultralight aircraft under FAA rules.
An onboard computer system, similar to the “geofencing” technology used in aerial drones, will prevent the aircraft from flying outside a proscribed area over open land or water, and will allow for remote control from the ground. And should a need arise, engineers will be able to take over the craft from land. The FAA bans ultralight aircraft from flying over built-up areas and they can only be used for sport or recreation, meaning they are not viable as a form of commuter transit.
“Depending on the time scale that you’re looking at, no, 10 to 20 years, we’ll all be using these things,” Colin Guinn, an expert in drone technology, who’s also an associate of Chasten’s, told Reuters.
(Production by: Dan Fastenberg, Jonathan Allen and Kevin Fogarty)
Former UNTV Cup Season 5 champion PNP Responders must win against the multi-season finalist Malacañang-PSC Kamao on Sunday (October 20) at Pasig City Sports Center to keep their bid for the next round in the league of public servants.
As a winless team in Group B, the Responders share the bottom two spot with the GSIS Furies.
After the first-round elimination, only the top four from each group will advance to the next round. The lowest two teams in each bracket will go on vacation early.
Tough as it may seem, they cannot afford to lose their three remaining games. But what they will be facing are the unbeaten Malacañang-PSC which flashes solid offense and defense prowess in all of its 3 games, the GSIS Furies and the reinforced two-time champion Judiciary Magis.
The Responders will basically still rely on Ollan Omiping, Anton Tolentino with the support from Richard Villanueva and rookie Mariano Flormata Jr.
While the Raffy Gonzales-coached Malacañang-PSC Kamao will be led by Eric dela Cuesta, the Javier brothers, Visnu and Narayan, Myk Jimenez, Ian Garrido with solid supporting cast: Joseph Besa, Michael Ignario and rookies Joseph Roque, Jeff Punzalan.
The PNP- Malacañang-PSC bout will take place at 5:00 pm, Sunday.
An explosive 2nd game is also expected as the multi-season champion AFP Cavaliers will take on the revitalized Department of Agriculture Food Masters.
At the helm of the Food Masters team is PBA Legend Rodney Santos who takes pride of hard-fought victories in their first two encounters against PITC Global Traders and Ombudsman Graft Busters.
In the other games, rookie team SSS Kabalikat will take on sophomore UNTV Cup team PITC Global Traders at 2pm.
SSS Kabalikat, being win-less also, need to win all their remaining games to prevent early eviction.
UNTV Cup can be seen live at Pasig City Sports Center for free or via Facebook and YouTube accounts and of course via UNTV channel and UNTV website.
GROUP A AFP Cavaliers 3-0 Agriculture Food Masters 2-0 Ombudsman Graftbusters 1-2 PITC Global Traders 1-2 PhilHealth Plus 1-2 SSS Kabalikat 0-2
GROUP B Malacañan PSC Kamao 3-0 DENR Warriors 2-0 NHA Builders 2-1 Judiciary Magis 1-2 GSIS Furies 0-3 PNP Responders 0-2
The winless teams, PhilHealth Plus and GSIS Furies must defeat their opponents this coming Sunday as they are on the verge of early elimination being on the bottom two in their respective groups.
In the first game of the triple-header, GSIS Furies would have to breach the tough defense of Malacanang-PSC Kamao head-on.
It’s going to be a big task for the Rene Banzali and Roger Yap-led team to even demoralize their opponent because Coach Raffy Gonzales’ Kamao team has the perfect winning momentum; on the other hand they will come from two-straight sorry loses.
The battle between the President’s men and the government-worker insurers is slated at 2 pm at Pasig City Sports Center.
In the other game, PhilHealth Plus must triumph against the Ombudsman Graft Busters led by its big man tandem of Bernzon Franco and Samuel Ignacio and the reinforcement playing coach of Edsel del Rosario.
The Health Insurers and “Tanod Bayan” face off is scheduled at 3:30 in the afternoon.
And in the main card of UNTV Cup Sunday games, Judiciary Magis and NHA Builders are eager to get the win that will decide their ranking in Group B with both having a 1-1 record.
Judiciary comes from a victorious game against GSIS last September 29.
Coach Joey Yabut said, “Sabi ko sa mga players, kailangan nating manalo kasi kapag nadalawang sunod tayo, mahirap na tayo bumawi kasi tatlong malalakas pa yung kalaban natin.”
NHA Builders Coach Benett Palad says, “Kailangan naming manalo doon para pumasok kami sa taas … yung team ko kasi ngayon nagkakaroon na ng camaraderie at teamwork so mas gumaganda yung takbuhan. Konting konti na lang ang i-aadjust ko na mali nila.” — Bernard Dadis
Aside from NHA, the Magis is slated to face DENR and PNP.
While the NHA Builders are determined to bounce back from a disheartening loss from Malacanang-PSC Kamao two-weeks ago.
Nanay Teresita showed off her favorite dance moves on the newly renovated floor of their home in San Jose del Monte, Bulacan.
It was well-polished and better compared to their old floor.
Nanay Teresita, along with nine others, lives in one of the elderly homes of the Coalition of Services of the Elderly (COSE). COSE is one of the beneficiaries of top radio station Wish FM that received P100,000 cash grant.
Because of the cash grant, COSE was able to further provide a comfortable home for these lolas.
“Nagpapasalamat ako sa Dios na mayroong may mga mabuting puso na nagdo-donate dito, (I am thankful to God for the kindhearted people who donated this)” Lola Conchita Salas said.
COSE is a non-governmental organization that aims to keep older people involved in the community.—AAC (with reports from Ninya Armillo)
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