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NASA flying car engineer shoots down Reg coverage

'Spouting nonsense' 'making crap up' 'I am not obsessive'

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"What gives you the right to spout this kind of opinion!?"

But it appears that the line which really upset Dr Moore was "the Puffin isn't vastly more capable than existing jetpacks or minicopters". We'd rashly based this on the fact that the Gen H-4 one-man copter can hover for an hour and offers 100km range, whereas the Puffin would (if built) be able to hover for a total of 6 minutes before draining every last erg from present-day lithium phosphate batteries (or a bit longer with next-gen ones). It might achieve 60-70km ranges if not too much juice was wasted at landing and takeoff.

As for jetpacks, the Puffin is indeed better (as we said!) - but you can't strap it on your back and walk about, as it weighs a hefty 400 pounds empty.

Dr Moore was having simply none of this, though. Apparently top speed is what you want in a personal air vehicle, not range or endurance or the ability to maintain a hover.

So we have 4 to 15 times improved aero efficiency, yet it’s the same? In terms of power required, a jetpack requires 100% power ALL the time, while we need ¼ to 1/3 as much as at takeoff. Jetpacks have incredibly high disc loading and requiring incredibly high levels of power - we don’t. So what are you talking about here? We can show a 50 mile range, and a jetpack can show 1 mile range … A small heli can show 75 mph, and we can easily show 150 mph (and at altitude show 300 mph). As a completely uninformed reporter – what gives you the right to spout this kind of opinion. Are you reporting facts or making crap up?

Ouch. Like the snivelling worms we journalists are, we pleaded pathetically that we are actually big fans of the idea of flying cars, sorry, Personal Air Vehicles here on the Reg flying-car desk and we have quoted Moore's ideas positively in the past.

But it seems we'll never be friends. Dr Moore administered a valedictory bitchslap:

Dude, you don’t get it and again and [sic] rationalizing your lack of effort to get the facts straight ... You would rather justify not bothering to get information.

The Puffin is not designed to be a hovering vehicle – that is the entire point. The vehicle is[*] intended to sit around and hover, it is meant as a transportation device – so to say that it can only hover for 6 minutes is like saying a hammer can’t be used as a screw driver ...

You made no effort to get this story straight, but just to spout your own opinions – that’s why your type of journalism is so unappreciated.

Presumably something a bit more along the lines of Gizmodo or Popular Science - "soon we'll all be zooming in to work above the traffic jams in our Puffins" - would be more the thing.

Oh dear. It just goes to prove what Confederate president Abraham Lincoln said; that you can please some of the people all of the time, but you can't please some people any of the time**. ®

*We expect Dr Moore meant "is not". Perhaps his keyboard had fused together for some reason.

**WARNING: We simply can't be bothered to get our facts straight.

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