Snapchat to release sunglasses and bills itself as a camera company. Veronica Belmont and Tom Merritt discuss that gambit, Disney’s interest in Twitter and Uber’s plans to fly you between cities.
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One thought on “DTNS 2865 – Snapholes”
Hello Tom (and Veronica),
I’m a long time listener going back to the BOL days and TechTV. On the Monday show, you were discussing VTOL aircraft flying around the city and landing on helipads as a service for hire. This is finally something that I can comment about. In 1981 I moved to San Francisco from San Diego. I had been released from active duty with the US Navy where I served 4 years as a junior officer aboard a guided missile destroyer. I was an executive manager with a helicopter company called Spirit Airways and we had the only active helipad that was usable in downtown SF in China Basin out on the end of a pier. It was explained to me that even though one could see helipads on top of the skyscrapers that exist in downtown at the time, they couldn’t be used except perhaps in a dire emergency because there are noise ordinances that prevented helicopters from regularly landing and taking off downtown. Local ordinances could be a big issue in many cities and smaller towns. Also anytime that a helicopter lands at a location other than an airport or registered heliport, there are many safety regulations that must be met, like having a crew manned and ready with fire extinguishers and rescue equipment in case of a crash landing at the helipad. Another issue that could face Uber is the lack of expertise that exists in the pilot community with respect to flying a VTOL aircraft. It’s not like flying a helicopter or a fixed wing airplane. There aren’t a lot of Marine or Air Force pilots with lots of seat time in V-22 Osprey yet and very few coming out of service looking to do it out here. Aircraft maintenance is a concern of FAA among other federal agencies and maintenance is a big, big deal when it comes to aircraft and it’s not cheap. So, there are many more hurdles to leap than getting someone to share time in their car when talking about any type of aircraft.
Just my $0.02. Love the show!