World's first home with launch pad for a FLYING car will be built in UK

The first landing pad for a flying car is being constructed in a new-build £10 million home near Nottingham.

The pad is being built at the home in the village of Edwalton by property developer, Guy Phoenix in partnership with VRCO, a Derby-based company working on a flying car design.

The electric powered NeoXcraft two-seat vehicle will be able to zip to London in half an hour and VRCO expects to have a prototype in the air next year.

The pad will have a renewable energy source to recharge the electric aircraft and is 6 metres in diameter. Pictured an artist impression of the two-person vehicle and the house 

The pad will have a renewable energy source to recharge the electric aircraft and is 6 metres in diameter. Pictured an artist impression of the two-person vehicle and the house 

The pad will have a renewable energy source to recharge the electric aircraft and is 6 metres in diameter. Pictured an artist impression of the two-person vehicle and the house

The pad is six metres in diameter and has a renewable energy source to recharge the aircraft which will be included in the asking price for the home, called Hermitage,  when it is put up for sale after being completed early next year.

Mr Phoenix said: 'My interest in the craft is of course is to bring bigger cities including the capital within commuting distance of Edwalton. Currently a commute to London, as I often do myself, can take anything from two-and-a-half to five hours depending on traffic. This vehicle would enable the user to travel short and medium distances  - in the very beginning until range can be extended - in a fraction of the time it takes to travel by road.

'I appreciate helicopters currently fill this void, however, this craft will undoubtedly improve on what they can offer. Not only are they a nuisance in the noise pollution, there are numerous restrictions as to take off and landing. It has been suggested to me that the NeoXcraft will sound more like a leaf blower than a helicopter and therefore disruption to local residents will be kept to a minimum.

'With a number of the most expensive homes ever sold in the area being mine, my intentions are to offer a craft with Hermitage in early spring next year. The house itself has been built to a level rarely seen in construction in both design, finish and technology applied.

'Fairmont, its immediate neighbour, is now on the market but with four offers already refused this house will not be sold for less than the asking price. The investment into Fairmont eclipses the asking price and whoever ultimately acquires the property will be buying one of the most amazing homes on the market. So together the Guy Phoenix brand delivering luxury homes and the VRCO brand soon to deliver the future in transport I am sure will work well together.'

The NeoXCraft flying car with foldable wings and an airborne speed of 210mph could be in the air by 2020. Its fans fold down to become wheels for land-based driving

The NeoXCraft flying car with foldable wings and an airborne speed of 210mph could be in the air by 2020. Its fans fold down to become wheels for land-based driving

The NeoXCraft flying car with foldable wings and an airborne speed of 210mph could be in the air by 2020. Its fans fold down to become wheels for land-based driving

HOW IT WORKS

When the vehicle is safely on the ground, the pilot can transform it from flight to road mode with the push of a button, according to Mike Smith, chairman and co-founder of the project.

The propeller housings, which feature wheel structures on the outside, will then tilt downwards, allowing the vehicle to drive.

The car is computer controlled, and the pilot 'will follow a series of voice commands to drive it in the air and on the road', Mr Smith said.

The flying car is a short-range driving vehicle but a medium-range flying vehicle, he said.

To recharge the pad uses stored and solar energy to recharge and includes an 'etched data store code' which is scanned from the air and allows the car to land autonomously.

The futuristic 'NeoXCraft' is expected to sell for £1.5 million and will use four high-powered fans to reach speeds of up to 210mph (320kph).

 Mr Phoenix is in talks with planners and the Civil Aviation Authority about how the craft will land and take-off.

He added: 'Helicopters currently can land 28 times a year without planning, we hope this to be extended once noise pollution calculated. As this is a worlds' first I have no prior application to refer to.'

Hermitage is currently under construction and will be available in Spring 2019 for £10 million. Included in the price will be a NeoXCraft flying car

Orders are already being placed for the car which the company hopes to be selling by 2020.

The NeoXCraft, which will be controlled via a computer programme, is the joint vision of Nottingham-based aviation company VRCO and the University of Derby.

Upon release, only a few people will be qualified to pilot it in the air and along Britain's roads.

It's hoped future models will feature autonomous software that will allow them to fly passengers around the country with no driver.

The craft, which has parachutes installed in case of an emergency and carries no solid fuel,  is undergoing multiple safety tests over the coming months.

Hermitage is currently under construction and will be available in Spring 2019 for £10 million. Included in the price will be a NeoXCraft flying car 

Hermitage is currently under construction and will be available in Spring 2019 for £10 million. Included in the price will be a NeoXCraft flying car 

Hermitage is currently under construction and will be available in Spring 2019 for £10 million. Included in the price will be a NeoXCraft flying car

To recharge the pad uses stored and solar energy to recharge and includes an 'etched data store code' which is scanned from the air and allows the car to land autonomously.

To recharge the pad uses stored and solar energy to recharge and includes an 'etched data store code' which is scanned from the air and allows the car to land autonomously.

To recharge the pad uses stored and solar energy to recharge and includes an 'etched data store code' which is scanned from the air and allows the car to land autonomously.

Hermitage will include a variety of neat features such as climate control, solar panels and armored glass in its windows

Hermitage will include a variety of neat features such as climate control, solar panels and armored glass in its windows

Hermitage will include a variety of neat features such as climate control, solar panels and armored glass in its windows

The University of Derby's Institute of Innovation has been involved with the project.

When on the ground the pilot is able go into flight with the push of a button.

The propeller housings, which feature wheel structures on the outside, will then tilt downwards, allowing the vehicle to drive.

The car is computer controlled and the pilot will follow a series of voice commands to drive it in the air and on the road.


Scottish Government seeking advice on net-zero carbon target

Scottish Government seeking advice on net-zero carbon target

Scotland's climate change minister Roseanna Cunningham has confirmed that the Scottish Government will set a net-zero emissions goal if the Committee on Climate Change (CCC) can set out a "pathway" for the nation to achieve carbon neutrality.

Scotland's draft climate change strategy has a headline target of achieving a 100% reduction in carbon emissions

Scotland's draft climate change strategy has a headline target of achieving a 100% reduction in carbon emissions "as soon as possible"

Speaking during a debate at Holyrood late last week, Cunningham confirmed that the Scottish Government has joined the UK Government in seeking advice from the CCC on how best to bolster its climate targets and achieve net-zero status by 2050.

The move comes off the back of the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) landmark report, which warns that the global temperature increase will hit 1.5C by 2030, and 3-4C by the end of the century.

Drawing on more than 4,000 pieces of scientific research, the IPCC’s report claims that limiting warming to 1.5C would require global carbon pollution to be cut by 45% by 2030 – compared with a 20% cut under the 2C pathway – and come down to zero by 2050, compared with 2075 for 2C. This would require carbon prices that are three to four times higher than for a 2C target.

“If [the CCC] advises that even more ambitious Scottish targets are now credible, we will adopt them,” Cunningham said at Holyrood on Thursday (1 November).

“What has held us back until now is that the UK CCC has been unable to outline that credible pathway. In the absence of that, we felt that it would be unwise to draft the bill in any other way than we have at the moment, but we want to get there.

“The Scottish government wants to achieve net zero emissions of all greenhouse gases as soon as possible. It is our intention to get there, and we will set a target date for that as soon as that can be done credibly and responsibly.”

Cunningham’s comments come after the publication of Scotland’s draft climate change strategy in June, which has a headline target of cutting greenhouse gas emissions 90% by 2050 and achieving a 100% reduction "as soon as possible". The strategy outlines plans to cut greenhouse gas emissions by two thirds by 2030 as a milestone on the way to the ambitious 2050 goal.

Steps toward decarbonisation

The debate which Cunningham was speaking at had been held to mark the publication of the first annual monitoring report for Scotland’s climate change framework, which found that the nation met its annual and domestic carbon targets in 2016.

Following the release of Government statistics confirming that Scotland had achieved a 49% reduction in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions against a 1990 baseline earlier this year, the report reveals that the nation recorded a 10.3% year-on-year reduction in carbon emissions between 2015 and 2016.

It additionally notes that the six large-scale renewable generation projects to have been approved in Scotland in 2016 are set to reduce the nation’s carbon footprint by 0.246 MtCO2 annually by 2022.

These findings are the latest low-carbon success stories for Scotland, which has committed to delivering 50% of all energy from renewables across heat, transport and electricity, and has signed a joint agreement to tackle climate change with the US State of California.

The nation has also deployed the world’s first floating wind farm, delivering electricity to the Scottish grid and the country’s largest solar farm has also received the green light, alongside the announcement of plans to phase out new polluting petrol and diesel vehicles by 2032.

To drive further progress, industry body Scottish Renewables this week launched a campaign calling for tougher policy to help decarbonise the 14,000 Scottish homes that still use coal as their primary heat source - as well as the 186,000 domestic properties that rely on oil or bottled gas.

The organisation estimates that homes using coal emit, on average, more than four times as much carbon as those using electric heat pumps, biomass boilers or solar thermal panels.

“Coal-powered electricity generation has already become a thing of the past in Scotland and it's time household coal heating was consigned to the dustbin of history too,” Scottish Renewables’ senior policy manager Fabrice Leveque said.

“Schemes like the Renewable Heat Incentive are available to help people switch to more sustainable alternatives and the benefits of doing so are clear: cleaner air, a healthier environment and less of the harmful emissions which cause climate change.”


Scotland's Landfill Ban 'not achievable'

Scotland’s landfill ban ‘not achievable’

Concerns are emerging over waste material in Scotland being diverted to English landfills as a result of the Scottish Government’s ban on landfilling biodegradable waste from 2021. 

And, the likelihood of cross border movements comes amid a warning to the association for Scotland’s local authorities that it is “unlikely” councils will be able to meet the 2021 landfill ban.

landfill

Scotland’s councils could breach landfill regulations (picture: WRAP)

The update from COSLA – the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities – comes in a document for a meeting of the association’s environment and economy board this week.

The environment board is told that: “As it stands it seems unlikely that the 2021 ban will be fully achievable. Work on delivery and on possible solutions will continue with future reports to the Board likely.”

When contacted by letsrecycle.com, a spokesperson for COSLA said: “COSLA is working with all 32 councils and Scottish Government to develop an effective pathway towards the 2021 landfill ban for biodegradable municipal waste.”

COSLA says in the board document that it is working to establish a “realistic suite of options” that would enable all councils to meet the ban.

Research

Indicating that the real question is around the development of non-landfill waste treatment solutions in Scotland, COSLA explained that it is involved in overseeing research commissioned by the Scottish Government to establish the capacity of the Scottish market to process waste after 2021. But, there have been wide ranging concerns that Scotland is behind in terms of infrastructure to take in the diverted waste.

“We want to be able to meet the 2021 ban and for Scottish Government implementation arrangements to be designed in such a way as to allow this to happen,” COSLA said.


(above) One facility developed by Viridor in Scotland is its Dunbar energy from waste facility which has now been completed.

 

RDF focus

It understood that there will be a big focus on RDF to replace waste which was previously destined for landfill, along with work to extract more materials from the feedstock. But, the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) has refused to disclose exporters of RDF to letsrecycle.com (see note below and in contrast to the Environment Agency in England) which wished to ascertain trends in the market.

However, one waste sector expert explained that currently a lot of RDF is exported from Scotland, and that there are also a number of domestic energy from waste facilities due to come online in the next few years.

SEPA

SEPA has said that details of exports of RDF by Scottish companies cannot be divulged in contrast to transparency in England

Another Scottish industry expert estimated Scotland could be faced with almost a 1 million tonnes shortfall in waste treatment capacity from 2021. The Scottish Government is “pinning all hopes” on two options of sending material to energy from waste plants in England or more waste being exported as RDF, he said.

However, with the RDF market on the continent saturated, Brexit impacts, and plants in the North East of England operating at full capacity, waste material is likely to be sent to English landfills, incurring a higher price, the expert warned.

“The Scottish Government isn’t budging,” he said, despite the fact the ban has “no chance” of being met.

Biodegradable

The ban on biodegradable municipal waste going to landfill from the 1 January 2021 is set out in the Waste (Scotland) Regulations 2012. Biodegradable waste is described as “any waste capable of undergoing anaerobic or aerobic decomposition such as food, garden waste, paper and cardboard”.

In 2017, 1.98 million tonnes of biodegradable municipal waste was sent to landfill in 2017, the Scottish Environmental Protection Agency (SEPA) has confirmed.

According to SEPA permits will be varied in advance of the commencement of the ban to prohibit landfill operators from accepting biodegradable municipal waste (BMW) for disposal at their landfill from 2021.

This means, at the landfill, BMW will be rejected and directed for alternative management.

Note: SEPA secrecy over RDF notifiers

The Scottish Environment Protection Agency has declined to give out any details about companies which have notified it of exports of RDF from Scotland in contrast to transparency in terms of exports from England. In England the Environment Agency regularly publishes details of RDF exports and lists the companies involved.  SEPA said that the information could “prejudice substantially the commercial undertaking of the companies and impact on the relationships they have built and sustained with suppliers and partners in this small market.”

SEPA added: “To release the information could potentially disrupt ongoing business of those involved.”