Thursday, January 15, 2009

A Better Shuttle - Part I

In the USA Today of January 15th, an article by Larry Copeland called "Forget the Cab, Take a Shuttle Flight", explains how a new air shuttle service is being offered between Gwinnett County airport and Atlanta's Hartsfield airport, 43 miles away. All this so that residents of Atlanta's suburbs do not have to risk missing a flight at Hartsfield due to the often unpredictable traffic slowdowns encountered when driving a car to the airport. I hope the service is successful. But, I'd like to talk about how two of the technologies I've worked on might make the service even better.

In Part I of this blog entry, I'll relate how the Arc Wing VTOL airplane would be the best possible shuttle to get from anywhere to Hartsfield or any other large airport. In Part II, I'll discuss how we can eliminate the traffic congestion that is the problem in the first place.

A VTOL airplane is the best possible way to get people by air from one place to another. The Arc Wing VTOL airplane which I've been working on for many years would let a shuttle service takeoff just about anywhere in the Atlanta area, without any airport being necessary, and land at Hartsfield on a vertipad (a variation of a helipad), allowing the runways to be dedicated to large aircraft, like airliners. This would be far more flexible than requiring a LTOL (long takeoff and landing airplane) at the starting point, which must be a runway, then a short flight to another airport, where one of the runways must accommodate the smaller airplane along with commercial jets.

The shuttle service would have infinitely more starting points, and make far less demand on the runways at Hartsfield, the destination point. A company using the Arc Wing VTOL airplane for its shuttle fleet could have many starting points at various distances from Hartsfield, and truly accommodate all those who want to get to the large airport without having to deal with stupefying automobile traffic.

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