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Published: Tuesday, March 06, 2018 @ 8:35 AM
Updated: Tuesday, March 06, 2018 @ 8:34 AM
BREDA, Netherlands — Robert Dingemanse has heard the comparisons many, many times. The Jetsons, Harry Potter, James Bond.
As CEO of a Dutch company developing a flying car, he's used to curious people whose only frame of reference for his new vehicle comes from cartoons or movies.
But as of this week, Dingemanse's dream of letting commuters (albeit well-heeled ones) choose whether to drive or fly to work comes a significant step closer. He is unveiling the first production model of the PAL-V Liberty, a three-wheeled, two-seat car and gyroplane rolled into one, at the Geneva motor show.
"Flying cars have been in movies many, many times and they will be available next year," Dingemanse told The Associated Press at an airport near the southern Dutch city of Breda as he stood next to a sleek, black prototype of the PAL-V Liberty.
The PAL-V Liberty is one of several flying cars in development around the world such as The Transition, a folding wing two-seater being developed by U.S.-based Terrafugia, and an all-electric vertical take-off and landing jet being developed by German startup Lilium.
Carlo van de Weijer, director of Eindhoven's Technical University's Smart Mobility program, doesn't see flying cars as much more than a niche market.
"It's not really going to be a substantial part of the total mobility industry," he said. "It's a nice gadget to combine it with a car so ... it might be a successful company in selling quite a few," he said of the PAL-V.
In the air, the PAL-V is pushed forward by a rear mounted propeller driven by two engines. It is stabilized by a larger roof-mounted rotor that bolsters safety.
"The rotor is not powered," Dingemanse said, "so it's actually a parachute which is always available."
Its makers say the PAL-V will drive at up to 170 kilometers per hour (105 mph), fly up to 180 kmh (110 mph) and can fly about 500 kilometers (310 miles) on a single tank of regular unleaded gas.
Land it and the rotor and propeller fold away, the tail retracts and the PAL-V is ready to drive. Switching from road to aircraft mode takes about 10 minutes including performing the necessary checks, the company says.
With a price tag expected to be around 500,000 euros ($615,000) for the first production run of 90, the flying cars are not for everybody, but Dingemanse said he has plenty of buyers lined up. They will have to become certified gyroplane pilots to take their PAL-V into the sky and the company is offering training courses, too.
Just don't expect this flying car to lift off vertically if it gets caught in a traffic jam. The PAL-V needs a short runway or grass airstrip to take off and land.
With the first production model of the car now ready, the company can begin the final stages of certification with road and aviation authorities in Europe and elsewhere.
The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration said it is constantly working to integrate new technology into its regulations.
Published: Wednesday, March 21, 2018 @ 5:37 PM
A group of West Dayton pastors urged residents not to attend forums Thursday about the closing of Good Samaritan Hospital, saying there’s not been indication that their feedback will be meaningfully considered.
The Rev. Rockney Carter, speaking Wednesday from Zion Baptist Church in Dayton, said it’s deceptive that Premier Health leaders have said they had to shut down Good Samaritan when at the same time the health system is investing in a suburban expansion.
“I think what they’ll continue to do tomorrow (Thursday) is continue to misrepresent the facts, continue to distort to our community and continue to mislead our people,” Carter said.
Dayton-based Premier, which operates four local hospitals, announced in January that it would close down Good Samaritan sometime this year and offer jobs at other locations to the 1,600 main campus employees.
The hospital will be razed into a shovel-ready site and Premier is holding two forums about the future of the site Thursday.
Premier said in a statement that it has had multiple meetings with community leaders to get input and the input from the forums today will be carefully considered. The health system stated it will continue to work with the city and CityWide Development to invest in the neighborhoods.
“Together the partners (Premier Health, City of Dayton, CityWide) have invested nearly $25 million, leveraged $45 million in additional private investment, and plan to continue to invest in these neighborhoods,” the Premier stated.
Carter said the group of pastors are not against having a discussion with Premier and have had conversations, like a public forum held in February, but the economic reasons Premier gave at those meetings were not convincing.
“We don’t believe it’s economic and or financial because at the same time they are closing operations here on the west side of Dayton — a predominately African American section of our community — they are building up medical services that are similar on other sides of town,” Carter said.
The decision to close one of the last anchor institutions on the city’s west side has prompted shock and outrage from residents and city leaders. The push back has included criticism that the closing will disproportionately affect black residents’ access to jobs and health services, who already have higher unemployment rates and worse average health outcomes on key measures like infant mortality.
Good Samaritan forums
• 1 p.m. March 22 at Fairview United Methodist Church.
• 6 p.m. March 22 at Fairview Pre-K-6th School.
Published: Wednesday, March 21, 2018 @ 2:27 PM
The housing market in the Dayton area continued to improve in February, with increases in the median sale price and number of homes sold.
The median price for last month was up over 2 percent year-over-year to $129,900, and the sales volume climbed 11 percent since last year to $135.7 million, according to data from the Dayton Area Board of Realtors, which represents Montgomery, Greene, Warren, Darke, and Preble counties.
The number of existing homes that sold was also up 3 percent compared to February 2017, with 882 sales reported on the multiple listing service.
U.S. home sales also improved in February.
The National Association of Realtors said Wednesday that sales rose 3 percent last month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.54 million. The median home sales price was $241,700 in February, a 5.9 percent increase over the past year.
But a shortage of properties for sale is creating a challenge for would-be homebuyers. As sales listings have steadily declined, prices have been climbing at the same time as a stronger job market has elevated demand — and, also, competition — for purchasing homes. Higher mortgage rates this year might also cause even fewer people to list their homes for sale, which would make the current supply squeeze worse.
In the Dayton area, February’s average sales price totaled $153,923, up 8 percent since the same time last year.
Year-to-date sales the January-February the median price increased 6 percent to $126,450, and the cumulative sales volume was up by 7.7 percent to $259.3 million.
As demand for homes grew, supply in the Dayton tightened. The number of listings submitted in the month of February decreased over 2 percent to 1,448 entries. For the January-February period, 2,705 listings were entered, down nearly 5 percent from last year’s 2,839 listings.
While the overall home market continues to heat up, there are also disparities.
The Dayton Daily News previously reported the Dayton area is one of 61 metros in the U.S. where minorities are denied mortgage loans at higher rates than their white counterparts — a modern-day system of redlining that keeps minority neighborhoods from recovery.
In 2016, black applicants in the Dayton metro area were 2.1 times as likely to be denied a conventional home mortgage as white applicants, even when controlling for applicants’ income, loan amount and neighborhood, according to data analysis by Reveal, the online platform of The Center for Investigative Reporting.
The Associated Press contributed to this story.
Published: Wednesday, March 21, 2018 @ 1:28 PM
WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE — The Public Utilities Commission of Ohio has given the go-ahead to Vectren Energy Delivery for a $13.7 million, 50-year deal to take over natural gas delivery at Wright-Patterson from the Air Force.
The contract is the latest Wright-Patterson move to privatize utilities at the sprawling base that spans more than 8,000 acres.
The ownership transition of the natural gas infrastructure will take nine months, according to base spokesman Daryl Mayer. The utility will assess the condition of the infrastructure during the transition, said company spokeswoman Natalie Hedde. Vectren was one of two bidders.
Indianapolis-based Vectren provides energy delivery to about a million customers in southwest Ohio and two-thirds of Indiana, including one other federal installation, the Naval Surface Warfare Center’s Crane Division.
In recent months, Wright-Patterson reached a $490 million, 50-year contract with New Jersey-based American Water Operations and Maintenance, Inc., to privatize water services.
Several years ago, Dayton Power & Light Co. entered into a 50-year deal to take over electrical infrastructure at the base. The utility provides electricity under a separate contract. Constellation Energy provides natural gas, according to Mayer.
Published: Saturday, February 17, 2018 @ 3:23 PM
— Winn-Dixie owner Bi-Lo is preparing for bankruptcy, according to a Bloomberg report.
Up to 200 stores could close as part of a bankruptcy filing, Bloomberg reported. According to Winn-Dixie's website, the retailer has locations in Florida, Georgia, Alabama, Louisiana and Mississippi.
The bankruptcy filing could come as early as next month, Bloomberg reported.
Bi-Lo has not publicly confirmed any bankruptcy plans.