Photo: Example of an intermodal transport system | Source: Airbus
Flying cars have been part of popular imagery for decades, whether in films or in science fiction books, constituting an idea that few people are indifferent to. But what if the idea becomes reality in the not-so-distant future?
With the FLY.PT mobilizing project which is part of a national response strategy to the challenges created by sustainable development in the aeronautics sector, this future is getting closer and closer, and it is written in Portuguese.
After a Portuguese consortium, in which PIEP is inserted, has attracted the attention of the media, thanks to the arrival of the Perseverance vehicle on Mars, now it is time to mention the promising work of another Portuguese consortium in the aeronautics sector.
This consortium consists of Caetano Aeronautic; PIEP; SETSA; Optimal Structural Solutions; CONTROLAR; Almadesign; TEKEVER II; INEGI; CEIIA; ISQ; INESC TEC; IPL; ISEP; AEDCP (Cluster Português para as Indústrias da Aeronáutica, Espaço e Defesa); EMPORDEF; Universidade de Évora; CODI; FHP and Stratosphere S.A.
But what exactly is the project that this consortium is developing?
Photo: Example of operation of an intermodal transport vehicle | Source: Techbooky
FLY.PT will design the prototype of an intermodal personal air transport system, at scale, consisting of:
With increasing road congestion, new solutions and new mobility systems will be needed to transport people and goods.
The solution may lie in the articulation between road transport and air transport, in complementarity with the existing mobility systems.
Photo: example of a new type of air and automobile transport | Source: Drone Enthusiast
PIEP is thus collaborating in the creation of a new type of modular air transport, winking at the vehicle of the future, where the passenger changes the road for the sky in a few seconds.
In the words of Nuno Gonçalves, responsible for the project at PIEP, “the project wants to sow the seeds of urban transport and the mobility of the future, in terms of multimodality, technologies, and materials, uniting horizontal mobility with vertical mobility in an innovative way. This project will help to reduce congestion and the carbon footprint associated with urban mobility, as well as increase the competitiveness of the national industry, creating value-added products and services, in a disruptive work by a large Portuguese consortium. ”
PIEP is working on the structures, materials, and processes (metallic and composite) and interiors and human factors of this multimodal vehicle, more specifically in the interior design of the vehicle and in the testing of its materials and processes.
This is a mobilizing project that aims to create new products, processes, or services with high technological and innovation content, being co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), through Portugal 2020.
The project, which will end in 2023, will also explore technologies related to aircraft electrification, new autonomous systems, among other technological challenges that are foreseen in this sector.
Until then, we will continue to use the traditional vehicles of today.