Everyone has a preconceived notion as to how things should be. Yet time and time again we get what we want but not in the manner in which we had envisioned. So it leaves us feeling perplexed and maybe even a bit dissatisfied. Many of us have come to experience flying, whether it be through an airplane trip, a video simulation, TV entertainment, and some even falling with grace thanks to skydiving and the like. To fail means to fall and the dream of flying may be something that is deeply entrenched in our genetic memory. Think about our ancestors from way back; when pondering to themselves “can I make that next branch, is it too far, will I fall?” What is the resolution to that nighttime feeling of terminal plummeting that suddenly jars us upright, heart pounding; and thinking to ourselves “FUCK!?”
So why do we want to fly so bad?
Superman has become the icon of this century and the previous of what it means for man to fly. I won’t lie I want that too! But how much longer do I have to wait? How does he do it? Is it the red cape or his jumping prowess which triggers omni-directional thrust and lift? Whatever it is, where can I get it?
I do my best to think in an exponential manner but it’s hard. Not because I can’t take commercial goods and linearly advance them through iterations, but because I can’t predict all the other fields on the periphery that are developing at the same time. When these products or technologies cross paths with one another a hybrid/mutant technology is created destroying the preconceived vision I had invented. This ends up taking civilization and culture in a direction that I couldn’t predict. At least with my contemporary human mind that is.
Let’s see where we are so far in terms of man flying. Oh right, last year Elon Musk and family decided to take to the sky by riding on the wing of a plane.
Then there’s Aaron “Wyp” Wypyszynski of Wyp Aviation who is definitely thinking about how to fly by getting folks into the sky by surfing on the wind. Currently his Wingboards are going through initial trial phases as we speak.
Feel free to watch the prototype demos here
Oops almost forgot, if you haven’t seen the Jetman Yves Rossy , what rock are you living under?
At present it seems the wingboard and the jetman jet pack suffer from landing issues, both require an abort using a parachute to get back to the ground safely. Come to think of it, Elon Musk recently spoke at the Hyperloop Pod challenge and when asked what was his next industry innovation was going to be, he said “Electric VTOL Aircraft”. Obviously he’s been thinking about the landing.
You may be saying to yourself “man I would love to do that”, but just you wait, thanks to Virtual Reality and a desperate grab to create content for the infant industry all this stuff will at least be accessible as entertainment sooner than later.
Now all of this is very cool but let’s think exponentially.
We live in a world where the physics and engineering textbooks have to be reanalyzed and re-intepreted because meta-materials and the attributes of the nano-world are being introduce into the macroscopic realm that we all know and love. The basics of common sense are being turned upside down because we are getting better at understanding the “nature” of matter. We know the fundamentals of flight and we are getting really good at the atomic control of matter. What can we envision with our existing knowledge?
In order to not make this rant go on and on, let’s look at some of the areas of increased innovation.
Computational Design – Materials Engineering – Additive Manufacturing – Synthetic Biology.
Now to imagine a possible year 2040?
Well right off the back I imagine computers modelling vehicles made from synthetic lighter than air compounds which are grown to precise configurations and specifications. A room temperature super conductor uses flux pinning (quantum locking) as the flight control/steering and braking system.
Yes that’s wonderful but how about making a person fly like Superman?
How about in 2060? Human cells will have additional magnetic particles introduced that can regulate the EM field through mental opto-genetic interface. The Earth will have a satellite array network so evenly distributed it could be called a “mesh” with very precise meta-material EM field amplification arrays. This will allow a magnetic field to be elongated by kilometers. Your neural interface will log into a flight route and once approved the satellite network with target your magnetic body and lift you into the atmosphere where you can control the route in real-time with the assisting satellite overhead. As you move across the aerial landscape, each satellite hands you into the loving magnetic grasp of the next, on and on you go across the world like Superman.
I argue that anyone over 50 reading this will say “bullshit, impossible”; well it doesn’t really matter because you’ll be dead! When it comes to physics, I’ve noticed the crazier it sounds the more likely it is that reality will allow us ways of reinterpreting matters capabilities. So we can do what was once thought of – as the impossible. Therefore, just about anything is possible as long as you don’t get upset that it didn’t happen the way you specifically wanted.
If flying like a bird is a dream of yours then put down your arms and go investigate any and all innovation. It’s just a matter of time before you discover the way you’ll actually be able to see the ground from far above.
Be The Technology
Here’s a fun video –