Home
In this issue

Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review

Why aren't we flying to work?

By Marshall Brain

Printer Friendly Version
Email this article

http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | (MCT) Anyone who has watched the Jetsons knows how we are supposed to get to work in the 21st century. We are supposed to by flying around. No worries about traffic, no problems with rush hour. Plus, it would be fast.

That brings up the obvious question: Why don't we all use personal helicopters instead of personal automobiles to get around town in 2007? Last week I had the chance to find out. I spent the day with Blake Moore of Air Atlanta Helicopters. We flew for a couple of hours while shooting a set of videos on how helicopters work. It was an eye opening experience. The comparison between today's helicopters and today's cars is remarkable.

As an example, let's use the Honda Civic as a "typical car." A Civic holds four passengers with ease, maybe five in a pinch, and has space in the trunk for luggage. It is a reliable, economical car. It costs between $15,000 and $20,000 depending on the options you get, and it weighs about 2,700 pounds.

At Air Atlanta we were flying in a Robinson R-44. The R-44 holds four passengers. Five would be a stretch. There is no trunk, but you can attach luggage pods on the outside of the helicopter. Even though an R-44 weighs 1,440 pounds, or about half as much as the Civic, it costs 15 times more. That's right - the typical cost of an R-44 is between $300,000 and $400,000 depending on the options. If you want to add air conditioning to an R-44, it costs about as much as a new Honda Civic. Yes, helicopters are expensive.

To put this into perspective, a new Honda Civic costs about $6.50 a pound. A new R-44 costs about $240 per pound. That huge difference is one big reason why we aren't flying to work every day.

Another thing to think about is gas mileage. A Honda Civic traveling at 60 MPH uses about one and a half gallons of gas every hour. And that gas costs $3 per gallon. The R-44 can fly twice as fast, but it burns about 15 gallons of gas every hour, and aviation gas costs $6 per gallon. This means that it costs seven and a half cents per mile to fuel the Civic, while it takes 75 cents per mile - 10 times as much - to fuel the R-44. A full tank of gas costs $30 for the Civic, while it costs nearly $300 for the R-44, and both vehicles can go about 400 miles per tank. That is one expensive fill-up!

Then there's insurance. The R-44 costs 20 times more than the Civic, so you would naturally expect for insurance to cost at least 20 times more. But Civics can't fall from the sky, so insurance on the R-44 is even more expensive than you might imagine. Figure about $25,000 per year as a starting point.

And there's maintenance. On an R-44, you have to do a complete factory rebuild at 2,200 hours, and there are also 100-hour inspections. The rebuild is a six-figure affair. Therefore, the maintenance cost of a helicopter can be astronomical compared to a car - approaching $100 per hour of flight time.

And finally, let's not forget the actual act of piloting a helicopter. To control a car you have a steering wheel along with the accelerator/brake pedals. Since a helicopter gives the pilot complete access to three dimensions, the controls are a good bit more complex. There is a joystick called the cyclic that tells the helicopter to fly forward, backward or sideways. There is a lever called the collective that tells the helicopter to go up and down. There is a throttle that works like the twist grip on a motorcycle. And there are two foot pedals to control the tail rotor. Lessons are expensive. For the price of your helicopter pilot license, you could buy a new Honda Civic.

So now we can go back to the initial question: Why aren't we flying to work in our own personal helicopters? Because it's way, way too expensive. Right now, most of us can't afford the cost of a helicopters gas, much less the purchase price of a helicopter and the cost of maintenance and insurance. It will probably be a few more decades before we are flying to work.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

Comment by clicking here.



Previously:


How tofu and soy milk work
How Colony Collapse Disorder works
How airbags work
How the U.S. income tax works
How gum works
How caffeine works
How Daylight Saving Time works
How a cruise missile works
How snow making works

© 2007, How Stuff Works Inc. Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services.

Columnists

Toons

Lifestyles