Hi guys! Off-topic here, I'd like to know about your thoughts on this company called ASTRO Aerospace which is the first public pure-play company with a functioning full-scale multi-rotor prototype with a touch control cockpit allowing the pilot to operate the aircraft both manually and autonomously. What do you guys think about this, are we close to seeing eVTOL aircraft like this being used for commercial purposes at this rate? I've been thinking about investing in it as well before it booms as projected in the same way Tesla did back then along with the whole electric vehicle market.
No because close would mean we have a system that is safe enough for regular joe shmoe to jump in and control/trust which I don't think any of these systems have really had the flight time to say they are safe (look at flight time of various aircraft and/or spacecraft and success/fail rate of those and how poorly it goes at the beginning and how long it takes for things to get "stable"). Granted technology gets better faster over time but there's still going to be some fails along the way and I don't think we've really seen them yet in this space (osprey R&D budget aside).
Sort of, because we do have small craft like skydio or some of the more advanced DJI systems that can have radars bolted on and other more precise sensors that seem to work very very well (skydio goes with cameras only approach similar to Tesla with FSD whereas DJI goes sensor suite it up and sells extra sensors to make their quads able to be more autonomous). That said extra precision in data doesn't mean extra reliable sensor it just means when the data is good it is better, but when the sensor fails or the data is bad (sensor is dirty or otherwise obstructed) then the whole system needs to be reliable to those sensor failures etc.
Also, there is the issue of the need for this thing vs the need for say a car. Most people in what I would consider the "developed world" (Europe, Americas, most of Asia, some of Africa etc.) own a car, just did some googlin to confirm and 93% of US households have a car and 18% across the world, needless to say there is already widespread adoption of car technology. Compare that with helicopter ownership and usage, again granted they are far more expensive but an eVTOL that is reliable will not be cheap either. Just to say there is going to be some kind of market for it, the ultra rich who would either own or rent a helicopter and pilot will save tons with tech like this, but for everyday folks the price of everything has to come way down for it to be accessible or useful.
To sum up I don't think it's "right" to compare this with Tesla since Tesla was just doing a new thing with an already large market to attack whereas this kind of thing would have to create that new market or just replace tech in a relatively small existing market.
I totally see a place for VTOL industrial equipment for surveying farms or other large facilities but for personal transport I see the tunnels happening before we fill the skies with eVTOLS (and the tubes idea is pretty speculative as well but just see it as more viable). Chicago already has some deal with Boring company I guess for digging a tunnel and I live in the burbs so guess will hopefully get to see some first hand action
The journey toward safe, everyday flight begins here.
Just dipping my toes into fixed wing for hobby things but there is definitely a big efficiency gain to using a big wing when it comes to flying distances too, looks like the "wisk aero" there that is evolution from the kitty-hawk is adding back some wings so it's a bit more osprey like but without the engines rotating like they do on an osprey (probably best to avoid that since was a major issue on them)