Langley Research Center, Hampton, VA
RELEASE NO. 98-077
NASA Internet Visitors Ready For Future Single-Pilot
Respondents to a NASA on-line questionnaire say -- when the
technology is in place -- they would be interested in making
business or pleasure trips in an advanced light
The Internet site has been visited by thousands of people since
it was announced at the beginning of the summer, including more
than 500 who have responded to a series of questions that may
influence the future of personal air transportation.
Developers of the site are hoping that everyone visits the site
and completes the 10-minute survey. The effort is managed by the
NASA General Aviation Program Office, NASA Langley Research Center,
Va., and is part of a nation-wide program to revitalize the U.S.
light plane industry. The questions focus on each individual's
travel needs and expectations.
"Design engineers and officials in both the private sector and
the public sector want to hear from you, the travel customer, so
they can design a new advanced air transportation system with the
quality and value you expect," said program office director, Bruce
Holmes. "By completing this survey, your voice becomes important in
determining the standards for personal air travel of the
Survey data collected to date reveal that:
- Over 95 percent of all respondents are interested in traveling
in an advanced light aircraft.
- Over 93 percent of the non-pilots say that if an advanced light
aircraft were developed, they would consider getting a pilot's
license in order to use it.
- Over 70% of the respondents say that the practical aspects of
flying, such as the ability to get themselves and others where they
want to go quickly and on their own schedule are important to
- One-third of the respondents say that more than 25% of their
travel destinations are not served by commercial airlines.
- Over 92 percent of the respondents say they travel by
automobile more than two hours travel time but less than 1000 miles
at least six times per year, and 35 percent say they take this type
of trip more than 12 times per year.
- Thirty-three percent of the respondents say they would take
more than 10 additional trips per year of more than two hours and
less than 1000 miles if the trips were three times faster than by
automobile and cheaper than by commercial airliner.
- A majority of respondents have at least a Bachelors
- Nearly half (45%) claim science/engineering as their
In addition to the survey, the site highlights future concepts for
personal airplanes that promise to deliver affordable, safe and
- The overwhelming majority of respondents are male, with 10
percent being female.
The site and the survey, created to explore the future role of
aviation in personal transportation systems, are an outgrowth of
two major government-industry partnerships. The partnerships were
established to develop the technologies needed for an affordable
personal air system and to define the operating requirements.
The first partnership, the Advanced General Aviation Transport
is a consortium of NASA, the Federal Aviation Administration and
more than 70 leading U.S. aviation companies, universities and
non-profit organizations. The second, the General Aviation
(GAP) program, is a NASA-FAA-industry cooperative effort
led by NASA Lewis Research Center, Cleveland, Ohio. During the next
two to three years, these partnerships are completing the avionics,
engine and airframe technologies for a new generation of personal
Compared to the automobile, a single-pilot, four-seat airplane
of the future equipped with AGATE-GAP technology is expected to be
as easy to fly, cost no more than a luxury automobile and safely
and dramatically extend the range of daily personal travel. These
aircraft would fill the niche between travel by airlines to about
500 larger airports and travel by automobile, and would provide
access for more of the population to the infrastructure of more
than 5,000 small airports that serve rural, remote and suburban
communities in the nation.
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AGATE Animation is available from NASA Langley!
text-only version of this release