You Wanted Flying Cars, Right? The Case for Airbus
BY SIMON FRASER | 1 min read

When you think of the future, what do you see? Flying cars, right? Of course you see flying cars. Everyone sees flying cars. That’s how we’ll know we’re in the future – when there’s flying cars.

Well we’re one step closer. Airbus conducted a successful test flight of their experimental E-Fan aircraft on April 25th, staying aloft over France’s Bordeaux region for 10 minutes.

Running on a lithium ion battery, the E-Fan is only slightly louder than a hair dryer and leaves no contrails. When it enters the manufacturing stage, the E-Fan will have 2 models – a fully electronically-powered 2-seater which can go an hour between recharging and a hybrid 4-seater for flights up to 3.5 hours. Airbus also hopes to eventually make a 90-seater aircraft based on the principles used for these smaller variants.

Click here to watch Airbus’s promo video for the E-Fan and its maiden flight.

What I really like about this story is the scaling. Generally, when we think “flying cars”, we scale cars up – we imagine a car having the ability to fly. Whereas, in reality, it’s much simpler to scale an airplane down to an automobile-sized craft. The result is the same but it is approached from the opposite direction.

And this gets me to wondering, “What other big tech solutions could be down-scaled to solve small tech challenges?”

Now I put that question to you. Think of a challenge – any challenge – facing you, your team or your community. What big tech solutions could be down-scaled to offer a possible solution to your challenge?

photo: Airbus

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