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SnakebyteXX
04-22-2005, 04:55 AM
By TYPH TUCKER
ASSOCIATED PRESS

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) - Elwood "Woody" Norris pointed a metal frequency emitter at one of perhaps 30 people who had come to see his invention. The emitter - an aluminum square - was hooked up by a wire to a CD player. Norris switched on the CD player.

"There's no speaker, but when I point this pad at you, you will hear the waterfall," said the 63-year-old Californian.

And one by one, each person in the audience did, and smiled widely.

Norris' HyperSonic Sound system has won him an award coveted by inventors - the $500,000 annual Lemelson-MIT Prize. It works by sending a focused beam of sound above the range of human hearing. When it lands on you, it seems like sound is coming from inside your head.

Norris said the uses for the technology could come in handy - in cars, in the airport or at home.

"Imagine your wife wants to watch television and you want to read a book, like the intellectual you are," he said to the crowd. "Imagine you are a lifeguard or a coach and you want to yell at someone, he'll be the only one to hear you."

Norris holds 47 U.S. patents, including one for a digital handheld recorder and another for a handsfree headset. He said the digital recorder made him an inventor for life.

"That sold for $5 million," Norris laughed. "That really made me want to be an inventor."

He demonstrated the sound system at the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry, also called OMSI, on Thursday.

Norris began tinkering as an inventor at a young age - taking apart the family radio and putting it back together again. He said ideas come to him when he's driving around or talking with friends.

"I don't know how I got to be an inventor, but I guess some kids can play the piano, and I can invent."

Norris will receive the Lemelson-MIT Prize at a ceremony here on Friday.

One of his most recent patents is for the AirScooter, a personal flying machine designed for commuting. It reaches speeds up to 55 mph and is light enough - under 300 pounds - to not require a license to fly.

The AirScooter was also on display at OMSI, although Norris didn't fly it.

The machine has a single seat, a four-stroke engine and is barely 10 feet tall. Its pontoons allow it to land on water. The machine's fiberglass and aluminum construction keeps its weight down. Bike-style handle bars move two helicopter blades, which spin in opposite directions.

Norris' AirScooter was shown on "60 Minutes" last Sunday. He said since the airing of the show, more than 7 million people have visited the AirScooter's Web site.

Norris said he and his crew have tested the AirScooter for four years, and he couldn't have created the machine without a skilled group of aeronautics engineers around him.

---

On the Net:

AirScooter: www.airscooter.com (http://www.airscooter.com)

link (http://www.lasvegassun.com/sunbin/stories/tech/2005/apr/21/042104146.html)

SPetty
04-22-2005, 07:25 AM
Too cool. I really like that Air Scooter.

Does anyone know where I can go to find out all the rules and regulations of flying ultralights? For example, I've "heard" that you're not allowed to cross a major interstate in one. True? I suspect there's a pile of "don't do this" rules, or else we'd see a lot more of them than we do. I actually haven't seen one in years, and it was down at the beach when I saw it.

Wally_in_Cincy
04-22-2005, 07:40 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote SPetty:</font><hr> Too cool. I really like that Air Scooter.
<hr /></blockquote>

until the engine stalls

whatever happened to the jet-pack we used to see on tv when we were kids? i figured they would be commonplace by now.

moblsv
04-22-2005, 08:36 AM
I've been watching his acoustics company for some time now thinking I may invest at some point. If anyone is interested it is American Technology Corp, Nasdaq Symbol ATCO.

SnakebyteXX
04-22-2005, 09:36 AM
SPetty: [ QUOTE ]
I suspect there's a pile of "don't do this" rules, or else we'd see a lot more of them than we do. I actually haven't seen one in years, <hr /></blockquote>

The reason that you don't see very many of them is due to the fact that so many people who got into the sport in the early days paid with their lives. The high death toll from flying ultra-lights was enough to get me to stop flying (took lessons and soloed but that was it). In the early days there were virtually NO FAA restrictions on who could or could not buy and fly an ultra-light plane. The end result was that people often bought kits had them shipped to them - assembled them - tried to fly them and crashed. Lots of bad stuff came from those 'no rules' days - mostly around people dying needlessly.

Ultra-lights are 'micro-climate' dependent. High winds can cause them to go out of control very quickly. Most fliers will not take them up if the weather is anything other than 'near-calm'.

You're better off looking into powered paragliders (flying parachutes). At least they can land safely if the motor shuts off unexpectedly.

Hope this helps.

Snake

PQQLK9
04-22-2005, 10:05 AM
IIRC I think it was sometimes in the early eighty's that a news reporter in the Wash, DC area was doing a report while flying one of those and he fell out to his death at a couple hundred feet or so. A horrifing image to say the least.
I seem to recall that the station kept showing it on the news.

Wally_in_Cincy
04-22-2005, 10:31 AM
<font color="blue">or you could do what this guy did /ccboard/images/graemlins/smile.gif </font color>


The incredible flight of Larry Walters, a 33-year-old Vietnam veteran and North Hollywood truck driver with no pilot or balloon training, took place on 2 July 1982. Larry filled 45 weather balloons with helium and tethered them in four tiers to an aluminum lawn chair he purchased at Sears for $110, loading his makeshift aircraft (dubbed the "Inspiration I") with a large bottle of soda, milk jugs full of water for ballast, a pellet gun, a portable CB radio, an altimeter, and a camera.

Donning a parachute, Larry climbed into his chair from the roof of his girlfriend's home in San Pedro while two friends stood at the ready to untether the craft. He took off a little earlier than expected, however, when his mooring line was cut by the roof's sharp edges. As friends, neighbors, reporters and cameramen looked on, Larry Walters rocketed into the sky above San Pedro. A few minutes later Larry radioed the ground that he was sailing across Los Angeles Harbor towards Long Beach.

http://www.snopes.com/travel/airline/walters.asp

Barbara
04-22-2005, 10:35 AM
I dunno Wally. I was always disappointed as a kid when I would jump off the sliding board with an umbrella in hand and I still didn't glide like Mary Poppins. /ccboard/images/graemlins/confused.gif

Barbara

SpiderMan
04-22-2005, 12:08 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote SnakebyteXX:</font><hr> SPetty: &lt;/font&gt;&lt;blockquote&gt;&lt;font class="small"&gt;Quote:&lt;/font&gt;&lt;hr /&gt;
I suspect there's a pile of "don't do this" rules, or else we'd see a lot more of them than we do. I actually haven't seen one in years, <hr /></blockquote>

The reason that you don't see very many of them is due to the fact that so many people who got into the sport in the early days paid with their lives. The high death toll from flying ultra-lights was enough to get me to stop flying (took lessons and soloed but that was it). In the early days there were virtually NO FAA restrictions on who could or could not buy and fly an ultra-light plane. The end result was that people often bought kits had them shipped to them - assembled them - tried to fly them and crashed. Lots of bad stuff came from those 'no rules' days - mostly around people dying needlessly.

Ultra-lights are 'micro-climate' dependent. High winds can cause them to go out of control very quickly. Most fliers will not take them up if the weather is anything other than 'near-calm'.

You're better off looking into powered paragliders (flying parachutes). At least they can land safely if the motor shuts off unexpectedly.

Hope this helps.

Snake <hr /></blockquote>

I've been a private pilot since 1988, but have flown an ultralight only once. I was working in the UK and a fellow engineer/pilot convinced his club to let me take one of the club aircraft up. I was able to fly the thing after less than a half-hour of dual instruction in a trainer (the rules are different over there, ultralights are somewhat licensed and they have two-seaters). The low speed, slow responses, and simple controls do a lot to inspire confidence.

The fellows I was hanging out with stressed that one of the main "weather" concerns was due to the low airspeed of the ultralight. If you can go 60 MPH and have 2 hours of fuel, riding a 30-mph tailwind for only 30 minutes will put you as far away as you can return in the remaining 1-1/2 hours. That's 90 MPH outbound but only 30 MPH return groundspeed.

A little bit of ultralight trivia: Why do they call it a "Jesus Bolt"? Because that's who you'll be yelling for if it breaks /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif

SpiderMan

highsea
04-22-2005, 02:52 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote SPetty:</font><hr> Too cool. I really like that Air Scooter.

Does anyone know where I can go to find out all the rules and regulations of flying ultralights? For example, I've "heard" that you're not allowed to cross a major interstate in one. True? I suspect there's a pile of "don't do this" rules, or else we'd see a lot more of them than we do. I actually haven't seen one in years, and it was down at the beach when I saw it.

<hr /></blockquote>There's not much in the way of rules for ultralights. They cannot operate in controlled airspaces (Class A,B,C,D) without ATC approval, they cannot operate over congested areas. They have speed (55kts max, 24kts stall), weight (254 lbs), and fuel (5 gal)restrictions, can't carry passengers, and have to be operated in daylight hours only. They can only be used for sport and recreational purposes. They have to surrender right of way to just about everything else that flies. It's okay to cross a highway, if it is not in a congested area or controlled airspace.

Two place ultralights can only be used for training purposes, and have higher permissable weight, speed, and fuel limits.

There are no training, certification, medical, age, or airworthiness requirements. Operators of two place ultralights need a certificate of authorization to be an instructor and operate a two seater. Operators are not required to have any aeronautical knowledge or experience. There are no marking or registration numbers needed for the craft.

That air scooter, I don't like- no collective means you can't autorotate, so you need a ballistic parachute or you die if the motor craps out. I prefer things with wings that can coast to a landing if the engine fails.

heater451
04-22-2005, 04:54 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote highsea:</font><hr>. . .That air scooter, I don't like- no collective means you can't autorotate, so you need a ballistic parachute or you die if the motor craps out. I prefer things with wings that can coast to a landing if the engine fails.<hr /></blockquote>It looks like the AirScooter is VTOL, whereas a gyrocopter--autorotation-capable--needs some runway.

Air Command Gyrocopters (http://www.aircommand.com/gpage2.html)



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highsea
04-22-2005, 05:50 PM
Yeah, I don't fly gyrocopters either. I could tell you some stories... I will fly in conventional airplanes, conventional helicopters, certain ultralights/experimentals, and LTA's (blimps). That's it for me. And I don't believe in jumping out of them either, fly those suckers to the ground, I say. /ccboard/images/graemlins/tongue.gif