Fleet planning

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Fleet planning

View gallery - 4 images The magical kingdom of Dubai continues to cement its dual reputations as both the world's most future-forward city, and the most desperate for attention, with the announcement that it plans to add quadcopter-style hoverbikes to its police fleet.

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Range is in the minute area, with recharge times around 3 hours — but batteries are swappable to keep these things in the air if necessary. Let's make no bones about this; this is percent a publicity stunt, and probably quite a dangerous one.

Fleet planning

The hoverbikes in question are a Russian design that we've covered before, the Hoversurf Scorpion 3. You can read our full opinion on this airframe here.

Suffice to say, at the time, we recommended the Scorpion mainly for "aspiring amputees" due to the close proximity between spinning blades and fleshy legs, but that's far from the biggest safety issue here. There's a big difference between being risk-taking aviation pioneers like the Hoversurf team, and deploying a barely-stable early prototype into uncontrolled, public, urban airspace.

In most countries, it's currently illegal to fly sub-2kg consumer grade camera drones like the DJI Mavic over a crowd, because the fact is they sometimes drop out of the sky, and 2 kilograms with fast spinning blades is already a huge liability if it lands on somebody's head from any kind of height.

The idea of flying these hoverbikes, in the embryonic state this tech is in, with their max flight load of kilograms and two-foot spinning propellers, over traffic or anywhere near people for fast response crime fighting … It's so vastly irresponsible that it's hard to believe a police force would have anything to do with it.

In an interview at GITEX with Gulf Newsa Dubai Police representative pointed out that the initial deal is for prototype hoverbikes for further testing, with the department making plans for a drone division that will use manned and unmanned airframes for a variety of policing purposes.

I suspect we'll see some more very public demo flights around Dubai, over roped-off areas, and then these things will go in the same dusty shed as the firefighting jetpacks we've heard so little about since their launch back in January.

Then the people that take these kinds of vehicles seriously can get on with the job of developing them into safe, reliable and realistic transport options, while Dubai pounces upon the next piece of ostentatious, out-there tech to flash about way before it's ready.

Here's some video of the Hoversurf Scorpion in flight, in its Dubai Police livery.Days Fleet is a leading independent vehicle leasing, contract hire and fleet management company offering solutions to organisations of all sizes.

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Fleet Planning from Startup Boeing Glossary () by The Boeing Company Determine what aircraft should be operated and in what numbers to meet the needs of the business. Paul Clark is Managing Director of AirBusiness Academy, a business educational organisation serving the Airbus community.

Having abandoned a life of commuting in southern England, he moved to Toulouse, France in and spent twenty years working in the Customer Affairs directorate of Airbus, providing fleet planning support to airlines.

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