myCopter: Enabling Technologies for Personal Air Transport Systems
This paper describes the European Commission Framework 7 funded project myCopter (2011-2014). The project is still at an early stage so the paper starts with the current transportation issues faced by developed countries and describes a means to solve them through the use of personal aerial transportation. The concept of personal air vehicles (PAV) is briefly reviewed and how this project intends to tackle the problem from a different perspective described. It is argued that the key reason that many PAV concepts have failed is because the operational infrastructure and socio-economic issues have not been properly addressed; rather, the start point has been the design of the vehicle itself. Some of the key aspects that would make a personal aerial transport system (PATS) viable include the required infrastructure and associated technologies, the skill levels and machine interfaces needed by the occupant or pilot and the views of society as a whole on the acceptability of such a proposition. The myCopter project will use these areas to explore the viability of PAVs within a PATS. The paper provides an overview of the project structure, the roles of the partners, and hence the available research resources, and some of the early thinking on each of the key project topic areas.