Electric Zigolo First test
really was pretty amazing , using a mix of low and high tech devices to simulate flight in a foot-launch powered paraglider. I got a chance to 'go flying with it and it was a blast. You begin by strapping into a real ppc harness suspended on a simple gimbal mechanism that tilts you appropriately when you pull a hand toggle 'in flight.'The real magic however comes from the virtual reality goggles that replace a battery of video screens that, no matter what, always Iook like a battery ofvideo screens. The goggles are great because they look where you look. Look left and the view in the goggles moves Ieft. Turn your head right and of course the scene moves right. Want to see all the detail offon the horizon? Well, it just seems that it is stiil a iittle hazy over that way. I'm sure the haze will be burned offwith additional computing power and more time spent programming. But really, the haze seemed perfectly natural. In fact it was a little more realistic than I cared for having found myself surrounded by fog in the past. Other details that made the virtual flight more realistic were the shaker mounted on the back of the harness to simulate an engine and a small fan in front to give you a hint ofa breeze. The virtual flight itself was great. It gave me a chance to fly along a small river, fly around trees, and generally have a fun time. I saw a virtual bird. They told me that the programming would allow me to fly under the surface of the river, but I didn't try that, having concerns about virtual alligators. They made me stop, which was pretty easy since they had the on-of switch, I had to make room for a repeat customer, a young man who is destined to become either a powered paraglider pilot or hitman, depending I suppose on which virtual reality experience he enjoys more. This may seriously be one of the best saies tools for powered paragliding yet. Someone needs to set up a kiosk in a malll
Electriflying! Every year the dream of electric flight gets a little closer. And by closer, I mean affordable for the masses, of which I am part. There certainly are electric aircraft flying, but a true Part ro3 that can be purchased, built (or not have to be built) and flown by a mass is still something talked about more than it is actually done. To be fair, it is kind oftough for the pioneers developing this new technology because the components used -yes, primarily the bafteries- are changing for the better all of the time. That makes it hard to commit to a production design. It is kind of like committing to a computer purchase when you know that when you get it home, plugged in, and start surfing the web, you will immediately find an advertisement for a newer, faster, better computer that makes you think you bought your new toy from an antique shop.
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