From Electric Airplanes to Flying Cars: Exploring the Future of Transportation Technology


In this podcast episode, hosts Steve and Marlo and guest Kevin Burkhart discuss a variety of topics, ranging from the progress being made in the electric airplane industry to the potential benefits of flying cars for transportation efficiency in large cities. They also touch on the possibility of using a catapult system for electric-powered aircraft takeoff to conserve energy and discuss the implications of the recent failure of Silicon Valley Bank, which impacted many tech companies. The conversation also delves into the current state of autonomous vehicles and the potential for increased efficiency as technology advances.


Did you know today is National Pie?

Kevin Burkhart in with us this morning as well.

and National Potato Chip Day. I mean, yes. And potato chip. We got both food groups represented. Well, I, yeah, well see I did that too. I, I, I fell into that trap also, , and then I remembered, wait a minute, we just had a national pie day and then I looked closer and went, oh, pie day as in math 3 1 4.

You know, this is actually the, the bigger, bigger national day of the two though. Well, I know it is, but I like pie. Well, yeah, so you have the, you have that reason to go on half pie. People across the country will be eating pie day to celebrate pie day. That, that’s what I fell back into. It’s like, you know what, I’m gonna have another pie day.

Yeah, I’m, I’m going to go to half pie. Just put 3.14 on the pie and whipped cream or something like that and then Oh yeah. Okay. Great marketing piece. Any restaurants out there listing? You should sell a slice of pie for $3 and 14 cents a day. That’s a good idea. Yes. See, you can double dip on pie day. See, I think there’s all kinds of ways to utilize this.

Yeah. Yeah. Hey, as long as they got a piece of pie, I’m happy. Banana cream, coconut cream. That reminds me, I, I was at Perkins just the other day ordering a, a whole pie. And the lady said, do you want it sliced? I said, sure. She says, do you want to cut into four slices or six? I said, you better make it four. I don’t think I could eat six

man, after my own heart. There we go. Okay. I wanted to talk a little bit about the time change. Of course. Uh, it’s weird this year. Normally I don’t, uh, have to deal with this, but um, cause I’m a morning person anyway. But the time change this year, kind of, kind of, I don’t know if it’s snuck up on me, caught me a little off guard.

Um, just a little outta sorts with the time change this here. First of all, because there’s eight feet of snow on the ground, it doesn’t feel like it should be time to set the clocks forward. I don’t think. Maybe that’s part of it. I think it is because I, Sunday night I was ready to go to Ben went, wait a minute.

It’s still way too light out. And yeah. And then Monday morning it was like, oh. Do I have to get outta bed now? I mean, it really is, you know, uh, according to, I forget what they call it for the weather service for the seasons, you know, we have the, the seasons that fall on the dates, right? So we’re almost to, we’re almost to spring, but there’s like the calendar spring or whatever they call it, which is actually, actually the first one.

Yeah. That comes up on the 20th is actual Spring. Spring. But they have, uh, you know, March 1st is actually supposed to be the whatever spring is, whatever it is. But anyway, uh, it’s like pie day. There’s more than one. That’s right. That’s right. . There’s more of everything now , I, I forget the trim that they used for that, but anyway, they, uh, um, it just, it’s a vernal equinox thing, but it just feels weird this year to have the time change and they’re, it still, I mean, yesterday morning it was 13 below zero, for goodness sake.

. Yeah. I mean, being a guy from Minot, we were getting a huge snow storm. On, uh, Saturday, late Saturday night, early into Sunday. So I looked at it as we got one less hour of a snowstorm. That’s perfect. I mean, just cut much less snow to have some snow shovel.

Less snow. Shoveler shovel. Exactly. So, so I get stuck in Vegas because of the snowstorm up here, . And uh, uh, and I took advantage of that and actually had some other business meetings and things, and, and I get back to the hotel. It’s one o’clock in the morning and I, and the plane leaves at six in the morning.

Right. And I’m like, oh my goodness. I I’m only gonna get three hours of sleep. No, you’re not. Because I would completely oversleep. I, at that point, I just stay up. Yeah. And I, I don’t sleep well the night before I travel anyway, I was thinking about doing that too. And I especially started thinking about, that’s the clock.

As I walk to the elevator to go to my room, there’s a huge sign that says, please don’t forget to set your clocks ahead one hour. And I’m like, What? ? It’s daylight savings night . So it’s not one o’clock. It’s actually two hours. Two o’clock. And I have two hours. Two hours now. Yeah. Yeah. You’re just stay up.

Yeah. And actually if you stay on the casino floor, they pump oxygen in. Yeah. You’re gonna stay awake anyway. Yeah, I did, I did try to get a couple hours sleep, but, but it’s funny, when I got to the airport, airport’s busy in the morning and, uh, um, it was like night of the living dead at the airport. I mean, people were like, everybody was about walking like they were sleeping.

It was hilarious to watch actually. So, just saying, I’m so curious to find out how Steve made it all the way through Sunday until Sunday night before he realized with the daylight. Oh, we had a time change almost 24 hours earlier. What part of what screwed me up too was, and I, I, I shut that feature off on my cell phone because I don’t, I don’t like, I like to do it myself.

So, um, It, it cuz my i’ll, I’ll travel and I don’t like my cell phone changing time. So, uh, that shut up. But my wife changed three or four o’ clocks in the house, and then I’m like, wait a minute. It, it was all confusing. It’s like, either let me change ’em all or you change ’em all, but you don’t change a couple and then change a couple more and then I’ll do with the rest.

And I’m like, which one’s got changed? And it was really confusing. Fortunately, most of the clocks nowadays just change on their own. Yeah, yeah. But for me, like all the clocks in our house, I set 10 minutes fast except for her clock on her nightstand. Yes. Because that’s, I, I, I need all the clocks 10 minutes fast.

So I’m not late for anything because I multitask. So I got too much stuff to do and that gives me a little extra cushion, which I’m thinking about going up to 15. But, um, like in my vehicle, my watch, everything’s 10 minutes fast. I, I do that math and I’m good that way. So now I’ve got her who set some of the clocks ahead, but did she factor in the 10 minutes?

I’m all screwed up. It, it was, it was horrifying. Marla, this, uh, one of the gentlemen that I meet with in Ka for coffee when I’m in town. Uh, what time did you meet with him? ? Good question. What time did you meet with him this week? I love these stories, right. So he is like, I’m gonna on, on his stove.

Obviously it doesn’t change by itself, but he must have a newer stove. So he’s trying to figure out how to put the clock ahead an hour and somehow or another walks the door, on the oven, , and cannot figure out how he did this. I didn’t even know there was clean mode. Yep. Well he’s, he is like, this is crazy.

And after a couple hours he said, Screw it. . I’m not going to, he said the clock, the unplug it know? Yeah. Yeah. It’s just kind of funny. Well, I had a condo and then a big glass top cooktop and you can lock those. And I, I kept lock. I’m like, what am I doing here? Because I, and it was through the clock is the lock feature, so I see.

I, yeah. It took me forever. I’m like, okay. It’s funny. So yeah, I kept locking the stove top so I couldn’t cook on ’em. I guess we’re microwaving everything or grilling. Yep. . I can’t use the cooktop. It’s hilarious. It’s hilarious. I’m sure everybody’s got time stories. And we’re gon, we’re talking about this because we’re gonna dive into this a little bit more today, right?

We’re gonna talk a little bit about is it going away and is it time? Because I also have another theory after going through this weekend, which. I don’t have an issue with time changes,

Uh, so what’s your favorite kind of chips I have to admit, trying Cajun squirrel might, might be find interesting. Well, they got all those flavors and, and we had a cabinet in Ontario, in Lake of the Woods when I was growing up.

So, you know, the Canadians were way ahead of everybody else when it came to flavored. Potato chips. Right. So I knew about salt and vinegar Yes. Long before they ever showed up in the United States. And, and all these, the, there was, uh, salt and pepper, salt and vinegar. There was, they had a ketchup one that wasn’t as, didn’t barbecue.

No. Didn’t, yeah. Yeah. Uh, but there was all these different Canadian flavors that were out there before you, well, you’re from Maya. You probably, uh, had some early samplings of flavored potato chips, Kevin. Yeah. I mean, they have, uh, they have all the flavors in Canada, but the best chips by far potato chips.

are Kirkland’s Kettle. Oh yeah. Ridges, I mean those things. We’ll be getting a couple of bags in the back of our minivan before we head back to Minea today. See, I, I like regular lays. It just lays potato chips, the original, and it, it kind of depends on what you’re eating with too, because, you know, growing up in Grand Forks, the kegs.

They’re sloppy joe’s. If you threw a couple Lays potato chips on those Oh yeah. In fact, a sloppy Joe dip with potato chips is the rough to go, right? Yes. So, but depending on what you’re eating is the type of chip, right? So, cuz I’m not a ruffle chip guy either, unless it’s a certain food. Right. So I, I think chips have kind of grown into a space.

I actually saw a meme the other day, um, that, uh, you’re so old, if you remember this, and it was potato chips instead of lettuce on a sandwich.

Mike, wait a minute. I remember that. Okay. I’m, I’m so old. I am, I am curious though, about who comes up with the flavors because the fact that there actually is a Cajun squirrel flavored potato chip, I don’t mean to go back to that all the time. I’m gonna guess there. That just has to be, that just seems like the most crazy flavor ever.

A Cajun ca Yeah. Well that’s true. I’m guessing it’s somewhere in New Orleans or something, but I don. , what do you think, Kevin? Did you try Cage and squirrel? It’s, it’s what they caught in the bug zapper, so, you know. Oh my goodness. Let’s make some chips out of it. Bug zapper. . What flavor chip do you want today?

How about the bug Zapper kind. . Well, you remember that scene from, uh, the Water Boy? Yes. Yeah. Yes. It’s like, what’s for dessert? Yeah. Squirrel. This squirrel. Well, we have a mutual friend who just, uh, uh, relocated to New Orleans, so we’ll have to reach out to Amber Yes. And see if she has any, uh, insight on the Cajun sel.

Maybe get a case set up here. Yeah, that’s a great idea. Yes. There we go. That should be Ever’s first thing for her friends back in North Dakota to send us a case of Cajun squirrel potato chips. We’ll swap some flavored chips with We go each other. Yeah. Speaking of squirrels, um, we were talking about time changes , and, uh, you and I have talked in the past about, uh, some of the states may be going away from it or maybe this national movement of getting rid of the time change.

You know, I have this great theory if we do have to keep it, cause I would love to see it go away, set it to what we’re at now and then just leave it there. Just, just, I, I like the extra light at night and I, I’m okay. I, it’s when. People get up in the dark and go home in the dark and they, they’re at work all day and they don’t see light.

Um, that’s the problem cuz you can’t do anything. So I, I like it the way it is right now, just leave it there. But if we do have to have it, why can’t we move it to Friday night, Saturday morning instead of Saturday night, Sunday morning? Because that gives people an extra day to acclimate before they have to go back to work.

That makes all the sense of the world to me. Yep. Yep. Let’s just hope it just goes away. . I I would like to see it go away. So this is where we’re at with it right now. Um, so last year, March, 2022, the Senate actually introduced a bill, uh, to get rid of or to permanently be on daylight savings time. It actually passed unanimously.

when’s the last time something passed unanimously in the Senate? Doesn’t happen. So, but the bill failed to get a vote last year in the House of Representatives. Why no vote? Because la well, they could not agree whether to keep the standard time or permanent daylight savings time. So that was the debate.

Which, so we’re on daylight savings time now, right? Right, right. Yes. Which one do we go to? I, I say permanent daylight savings time because you get more time in the evening. Right. So just last week, uh, the Sunshine Protection Act was reintroduced in the house. So they’re now pushing to hopefully ban or whatever, I shouldn’t say ban, but the ban, the clock change, I guess is the way to say it.

Right. So, This if this actually gets enacted this time. So if the house does act on this, my guess is that the Senate would act on it as well, because they passed it unanimously last year. And, uh, if that happens, then this could be the last time we’ve ever set that we will set the clocks forward. But, you know, nothing.

Call your local legislator. Nothing is ever for sure, because in 1974, Richard Nixon did this and it lasted 10 months. Just 10. Yep. So the, the new, and it was enacted in response to the 1973 oil crisis. For whatever reason, year light dav, daylight savings time was initially supported by 79% of the public.

But shortly after that first winner dropped to 42% support. And there was, the reason for it is that there was a series of accidents in the morning that killed some children going to. . And for whatever reason, the, the country, you know, they heard about this and then they decided that maybe it’s a safety factor and decided to go back to the standard that we have today.

Uh, and at that time it was six months. Six months. So you had six months of daily savings, six months of standard time. Now, of course, we’re at eight months of daylight savings time and only four months of standard time. So. Well, and that’s part of the argument. It, it, it, it’s just a number picked out of the right.

The air, right. That’s part of the argument, uh, against it or for it, or whatever it is. And I think you could, you know, it’s, you know, the, the stories of, of kids being killed going to school or whatever in the morning, uh, because it was dark. I mean, it’s a sad story of course. Uh, but it’s still dark. But I think it also, I mean, you could make the same case on the other side.

It’s dark when you come home. There are fewer pedestrians being hit at night. Yeah. When they’re all or whatever, extra hour. Right. I mean, it, it, it just, it was just something that just got caught up in, in the social conscious of, of, you know, at the time, and, and, and you and I had this conversation before because I, you know, I think a lot of people like me thought that, well, it was because of agrarian.

You wanted more time to work in on the farm and things like, which wasn’t the case, was not the case. That’s not the case. That’s still get up when the sun comes up, when they go to bed, when the sun goes down. Doesn’t matter what time it is. The biggest deal with it, if you go look back at history is that.

The idea behind having time zones was that they were trying to get as close to high noon as they could where the clock at noon could be at noon when the sun is highest at, you know, point in the, but that’s the time zones, not the time changed. Right, right. So that was, that was the goal originally. And, and that’s one of the reasons, I mean, besides, you know, equalizing time across the world, um, but this is, this is all actually relatively new.

As crazy as this is, it wasn’t until 1876 that we even had some time zones, and even after that it was just, it wasn’t even mandatory. Well, you and I were talking about Ohio had something like 26 tons. 2026. So, and, and even today, uh, states like Indiana, uh, some, some cities participate in daylight savings and some cities do not.

Within a state, within the state. And then on top of it, you have West Indiana, two time zones. And so if you, if you’re in an area that’s not participating in daylight savings time and you’re in one time zone, it’s possible that within the state of Indiana, that there is three hours between one side of the state and the other side of the state, just depending on what part of it you live in right now.

Now there are fewer and fewer, uh, that are not participating, but, uh, it’s just interesting to me that even today we have this issue going on. And, and of course, let’s not forget about the half hour change. There are some parts of the world that are not on the hour. Well see. I knew that because we, we had a cabin in Canada when I was growing up.

Yes, yes. Prince Edward Island, Newfoundland, the, the merit times half. That’s correct. St. John’s. Yes. It’s a half hour. Half hour. And the reason for that, again, what the heck, the reason for that is the position of the sun. Right. That’s why they do that. But it’s how do you, how can you be a half hour off that?

How do you set meetings for that? It’s bad enough right now when we are trying to set meetings across the world and, you know, you’re dealing with seven hours difference here. 14 hours difference there. Yeah. But that math doesn’t compute. But, but if, if you’re on this island, what’s the name of the island?

Which one? The one that’s a half hour. Oh, prince Edward Island. Prince Edward Island, okay. Yeah. The Merit Time Province for Canada. Okay. So New Brunswick, new Prince, Edward Island, St. John’s. So how do you set that meeting? It’s, it’s 1:00 PM Eastern time, but it’s one 30 at our time. Right? Yeah. Well, you know the, the time zone’s a different animal though, because people get very, very look at when they changed the, where the time zone was in North Dakota.

Yes. When it used to be cross the Missouri River. That’s correct. You go over to Mandan and it was a time difference. Did it all the time. People look at the fight that, you know, and there’s been some bills that have come up in the legislature about going to one time zone in North Dakota and the people out west that they like their mountain time.

They time. Yeah. And people get very fired up over mountain time versus eastern types. So time zones a little bit different animal.

You’re changing that website, aren’t you? You’re the process. Yes, yes. Yeah. Being remodeled because we have So does that mean you’re getting like all new shirts so I can You want a new shirt?

Well, no, no. So you get new shirts so I can read the website off of, cuz that’s what I do. I always glance over it cuz everything you’ve got says national Yes. Which I, I’ve gotten to the point where I don’t have to read it. I’m by that by the way. It’s still. It’s habit. Yes. So it’s habit for me and I So you’re gonna have to change shirts now?

Not that you know now, because he’s got more than one shirt, but I’m the only, Kevin’s the only one in the room here that doesn’t change shirts on a daily basis. . Hey, hey, hey. I didn’t know I was gonna be on a radio show I want. I thought, well, who’s gonna see me? Well, yeah, he didn’t even comb his hair this morning.

He, he looks like, he looks exactly the same as I left him yesterday. Kevin doesn’t have hair, so it’s, it’s okay. . Alright, we’re, we’re shifting topics a little bit. Here we are. Yes. Uh, this morning. Uh, of course another big thing in the news besides the time change and me struggling this year, uh, was, uh, Silicon Valley Bank, a big tech bank, uh, uh, one of two banks that, I don’t know if you can technically call them failed, but there were failings within the system.

Now, why that Silicon Valley Bank was important was that’s where a lot of tech funding and a lot of venture capital for tech funding was parked. There was a lot of money there for the tech sector and that’s why this one is of a little bit of interest this morning. Well, and I think, uh, one of the things with this, I’m just reading through some of the latest news right now, um, is the disruption it had to companies like Etsy.

So I know a few people, in fact, I know companies who market products on Etsy and Etsy was unable to make payments to the, to those people. Right. You know, so if you’re a crafter or whatever that sells you stuff on Etsy, All of a sudden, you know, you, you might think that this bank that failed in California only in Pack Silicon Valley, but that’s not the case.

No. Because it was a big tech sector bank. So that means mean people who Right. Reach out to a lot of different avenues. Exactly. Exactly. So you, you know, if you’re getting, if you’re a crafter in mine, North Dakota, that makes their living on Etsy. And I know a couple people in mighta North Dakota that actually do Kevin, you know, uh, people who use their glow forge to create stuff and then they sell it online and this is how they make their living.

Uh, we’re unable to make pa get their payments from them, you know, so Etsy’s working that out. Of course. Uh, but it impacts a lot of people a lot of different ways. And I guess this is the first major bank that’s failed since the 2008 financial crisis. Yeah. So that’s 15, 16 years ago. And then I forget the name of the other one, but that also the signature signature that was, uh, which.

Ironically, Barney Frank from the DOD Frank Act who was on the board for that bank, which he was the one that Dod Frank Act, put in all these protocols in place to make sure the banks were safe. And but that signature bank also a, a big tech bank. Uh, and that’s where a lot of the technology dollars were parked a lot of venture dollars and, and a lot of, um, online internet companies did their businesses through those banks.

Yeah. Yeah. Speaking of irony, Steve, my, my favorite image over the last few days about the Silicon Valley Bank is watching the line of people outside of cer, of Silicon Valley Bank, who probably would never go to the bank, cuz you know, you do it, it online. Right? Right. But now they’re all lined. To get their money.

Right. And I’m, I’m sure there’s very few tellers who are employed at a bank like that because it’s all we did tellers online. That’s right. Everything’s online. Yeah. Who wants to be that one or two tellers who are, Hey, we need you guys in here today. We got some customers who want to ask, can’t work from home today.

Why do you like making it Wells Fargo? It a they don’t have tellers really anymore either. Right. So, but there’s a line of people outside waiting Yeah. Yeah. For a door that probably isn’t gonna be open . Right, right. Anyway, yeah. It is kind of ironic in that way. Right. But, but not a bank that, uh, typically you or I, or people would normally have money parked at, uh, so.

you know, they talk about the F D I C, the federal deposit insurance, and you’re protected up to 250,000. A lot of the people in that bank, those two banks, not people that are having $250,000 parked in a bank. These are big venture type Yeah. Banking operations. Yeah. So, but it makes you wonder, you know, I, I just, I think about there’s been a lot of layoffs in tech over the last three or four months too, right.

I mean, meta just came out just a couple days ago and said, which is Facebook and Instagram and, and uh, Oculus, uh, they are laying off another 10,000 people. You know. So it just seems that things that are related to tech recently seem to continue to slow down, to fail to whatever. And I’m not really sure, um, , you know, if it’s a, if it’s a sign of economic times that when you know things get a little tighter, that maybe technology is not, you know, you’re not, you’re not buying the latest television or the latest computer you’re gonna make due on those things because food and fuel and things become a bigger priority.

So I just wonder if it’s just kind of a sign of the times and this bank failing could be part of that. Now, where it could affect some people is if you’re one of those big industries that are laying off people in the tech sector and you do do your banking through that bank, then you know, some people may have, um, their deposits there.

Yes. Because it’s the. Companies bank, right? So they may do some banking there so those people could be affected. Yeah, I over 250, this, this impacts, uh, I think a lot of people and, and, uh, it’ll be interesting, interesting to see how this plays out over the next few days. That’s for sure.

My mission today is find a $3 and 14 cent piece of pie. That’s a great mission. That’s my mission. And if I have to go to 20 restaurants and have a piece of pie at every one, , I’m gonna find it. That’s my mission today. Alright, fair enough. Um, I wanted to talk a little bit about, uh, some aviation.

Yeah. Um, and. Electric airplanes is, it’s something that’s been kind of popping up here and there. And, and I always look at it as scope and scale because for a commercial aircraft, uh, to be able to fit in that space, that’s a little, we’re not there yet, but are we, uh, and, and I go back to, you know, it wasn’t that long ago, Boeing had this experiment with electric generators on some planes and failed miserably.

It was battery capacity. They just, and well, the batteries kept catching on fire, but, um, another little problem, but it, they couldn’t make it work. So where are we today? Because it wasn’t that long ago. So there’s actually a company called Beta Technologies, and, uh, they’re based in Vermont. They have, uh, the name of the aircraft is a CX 300.

It’s a conventional takeoff and landing version. , uh, of its all, all, uh, two 50 electric vertical takeoff and landing. So they have a, uh, a vertical takeoff landing aircraft that they’ve produced that is electric as well. Uh, but this is a conventional aircraft. It looks like it holds, I’m going to guess 20 people.

So I was trying to find the specs on it, but I’m unable to do so right now. But it is not just for a couple people. So it is, and, and they are actually taking orders for this vehicle. And in fact, I think somebody just bought, yeah. Um, somebody just ordered 50 of these things actually. So they’re trying to get this through the f AA right now, uh, under its current regulations.

So meaning that they’re just applying for the permit to put these vehicles into the airspace here in the United States. without having to have the FAA change anything as far as how they’re fueled and, and all this other good stuff. So that’s kind of where it’s at in a nutshell. I guess. So the question I’ve got is, is where’s, and probably capacity, um, going back to the FAA and some of that regulation, where’s the, the line drawn between a flying car, which you’ve been in and a an electric aircraft?

where, where, where does that line get drawn? So that’s interesting. That’s an interesting perspective actually. So I would say, or is it just morphing into one Eventually? Yeah, probably. But I think right now it’s airspace, you know, so what you’re talking about, how far off the ground, how far off ground you go, right?

So a drone, for example, you can go 400 feet without having to do anything more than just flies around. As long as you’re not within five miles of an airport and things like that. Unless you’re the military, let me wait. Right, right. In North Dakota, there’s a 600 foot ceiling across most of North Dakota, because we are, we have a special training set.

Yeah, yeah. Because of our status with, with drones. Right. Uh, but other than that, so as long as your flying car stays within that 400 foot ceiling, then you’re Okay. You know, and, and you’re not gonna be, you know, cruising at, at a speed, at, you know, at 30,000, at 30,000 feet. You know, cuz you, you’re not gonna get up to 400 and some miles an hour or whatever.

Probably at 400. Oh, I’m gonna try. I know you will. I I’m gonna try. I know you will. You just don’t, you just don’t have enough room. , you know, that, that, that with without, you know, getting up there a little higher. So did you say vroom? Yeah, vroom. Vroom. However, I mean the electric vehicles that are the flying cars I’ve been in go 160 miles an hour in that space.

So from doing the math, how long would that take you to get back to Minot? What’s 40 minutes? Probably about, probably about a half hour. Yeah. Yeah. Wouldn’t that be something. Would you, would you like that? There’s a few curves that I’d be concerned about , but otherwise that’d be great. In a flying car, people from Minot come to Bismarck, 2, 3, 4 times a month.

People from Bismarck go to Minot like twice in their lifetime . So you know, and once it’s for a junior high track meet if it that fast. Yeah. And the state fair. Yeah, we go there for the state fair. If you could get to mine at that fast, I think people from Bismarck would come up during host f. You know That’s true.

Come check it out. That’s true. Go to Host Fest. I love Host Fest. You know if there was a charging station. So most of these uh, uh, flying cars, you don’t have a story about charging station? No, I don’t have a story, Steve. See if, if he starts me down that road again, it’ll be another hour.

Today is pie Day. Pie day potato, $3 and 14 cent piece of pie. Get some potato chips on it though.

potato chip pie. That actually sounds pretty good. I It does, depending on the flavor. , as long as it’s not Cajun flavored squirrel potato chips. Right on your pie. Well, it depends. That would be a meat pie then, right? I, I’ve eaten raccoon. It’s why not? Okay. I don’t know. Yeah. Okay. I, I, I, in fact, I’ve got a hot cook.

R How was QuickBook on on it? It was a little sweet. Really? Yeah. Not what I would’ve expected, I guess. No, a friend of mine was raccoon guy and Yeah. Tried it. The jerky was good. Okay. So yeah, who knew? Hey, you know what we say and why not? Why not, not why not ? Um, no, it’s good job there. Kevin. . So we’re talking about, uh, aviation, electric planes.

And electric aviation and, all right, so I got to thinking about this one day because of, well, in part the issues with Boeing and, and, uh, I knew we were gonna talk about this at one point. If you take a look at the ability to get off the ground with a plane, that’s the biggest expenditure of power. The flight and the landing not that complicated.

So if you’re looking at the ability, because the very, once you’re up and, and at cruising altitude, there’s really not a lot of, of energy expended to propel that aircraft. Uh, depending on what the prevailing winds and all that are, because you take a look at some of the electric, um, solar power planes that have been made thousands of miles of flight.

So now you’re just looking at that weight ratio. But going back to the takeoff, which is the big power, okay, at what point for an electric powered aircraft to take off? At what point would, could you see an airport with a catapult system, kinda like an aircraft carrier, because that’s how they get those aircraft off the ground in a very short space.

And then kicking the afterburners, you’re after the races. Um, but something like that could make electric power at aviation a little bit more feasible. Yes. All of that. Free. Yes. , one word response. Wow. I thought about this long and hard. , Hey, I’m like, well, aircraft carrier. Do, do, do a catapult system. It, it, so my question to you is, would that be the viable solution for, you know, accelerating what electric aviation looked like?

Because it’s that expenditure of energy, that quick drain on a battery that is, , the takeoff that that’s the part, getting it up in the air is, is the hard part. Right. I was just, as you were saying that, I was just looking up how much fuel, like a 7 47 burns drain takeoff, and I’m, I know it’s a lot. Yes. Okay.

A 7 77 . There, there’s my one word response to yours. This, this, this is incredible. How much, how much fuel do you think a 7 77 burns on takeoff? That’s the big dump that, that it’s huge amounts of fuel expended or energy expend to get off the ground to, to fight the forces of gravity. What do you, what do you think the number is?

Uh, I, I wouldn’t even know. Um, , well, it’s in pounds, so I would say no, I, I know, I’m actually saying in gallons though. So just so that you can, so I would say 6,000 gallons of fuel, actually. That’s a pretty good guess, uh, between four and 10,000 gallons on a takeoff. Yeah. Depending on the aircraft. And, and, and when you, so, when you think about what is, uh, what’s a gallon of jet fuel cost right now?

Seven ish. Oh my goodness. So even at 4,000 gallons times $7 is $28,000 to take that plane and put it in the air. Okay, so the question is, why wouldn’t you have a catapult system at a regular airport just for that ? Because that’s, well look at extending, uh, flight time and, and being in the air or taking a longer trip for different aircraft.

Think, I think that particular aircraft holds 63,000 gallons, right? Yeah. But you think about, uh, what does, what does the 7 77 hold, uh, for people? 250 people or so? Yeah. Um, I mean, you, you literally, if it’s, if it’s um, 28,000 gallons, so everybody in that plane spent 10 bucks just to, just to take off. Yeah.

Again, why wouldn’t you have a catapult system at an airport? Yeah. And then, then it runs on five gallons a minute. Yeah. When it’s in the air, so it much more efficient when it’s up in the air. Yeah. But, but the, the energy expansion or the, the, the energy that it, it takes to get off the ground is where.

That’s the the big, I have a better solution. Okay. I think every airport should be put on a Butte or something like that to shove the plane off the hill and then you just go off the side of the hill, . You just get enough to get enough off the hill. Go down. You get your acceleration because of gravity, and then you can.

Don’t like that idea. They have that ride at Valley Fair and it’s wee. Yeah. Everybody strap in. Go. Everybody gets quiet here. It’s, it’s, it’s kinda like the agenda of talking points for this radio show comes together. Well, let’s jump off the cliff and we’ll build the wings on the way down. Yeah. You know, let’s, we’ll figure it out.

Excuse me, but do we have an engineer on this flight? , but I agree with you. I think, you know, a catapult system would be interesting. I, it’s surprising that there aren’t any, anywhere, something. I mean, just, just to, you know, if you, if if there was a system that could get you to a hundred miles an hour or something relatively quickly.

Quickly. Well, the word of the day is efficiency. Yes. For, for a different reason. Because that’s what Zuckerberg is calling the 10 thousands of layoffs. That’s right. 2023 is the year of efficiency. Efficiency. So you would think from a cost perspective, yeah. Catapult system at an airport would be expensive.

But if you’ve got a big airport and you’re launching these large aircraft, the fuel savings alone, pay for itself, uh, in a very short period of time. So I’m wondering why there hadn’t been some thought into that system because, you know, doing the same old thing the way we’ve always done it, you know, efficiency, word of the ear.

Yeah. There you go. There you go. Thank you, mark. Yeah, for that word, . So, so anyway, you don’t lay people off anymore. We’re just getting efficient. So we’re talking about, you know, the, the flying cars, that’s where we’re moving with all this, right? Or did you just want to continue on? No, no, no, no, no, no. With, with your catapult system.

Yes. No

I put all this thought into it, is all this work and effort and it’s, it’s a good thought. I mean, I, I always think about, you know, other things. I think about the, uh, um, you know, in, in Bismarck, North Dakota when they, when they have to de-ice the plane and it becomes this like crazy circus out there to de-ice planes, and I’m like, Don’t we live in a snow climate?

Why does this have to be such a big deal? You know, I, I’m just using that as an example. Why wouldn’t we have like, some type of system that a plane can just like a car wash, taxi through and, and and you just hit the button. Yeah. And you know, you come through and you know, you tell, tell aircraft air traffic control.

Hey, I’m ready for my car wash now, or my plane washed. And you just slowly drive through the thing. And I’ve never seen any place that has anything like this. And to me, that would make all kinds of sense. It would be incredibly efficient. And maybe that’s why it’s not done. Yes, yes. . But why not? I, I, now I could see And why, why, and while you’re going through your airplane wash, you could set, you could, uh, get set up with the catapult and then where you go.

Yeah. Yeah. You could set the catapult right. And send that stone your way into the, into space. Well, yeah. I was thinking another thing too. It’s like now we figured out how the cow got over the moon. It was Catapult. Oh, yes, yes. . That’s how the cow jumped over the, and then you got it all figured out. See, Kevin Tuesdays can deteriorate rather quickly.

It’s going there real fast. I was, I was feeling personally attacked. We were talking about, you know, how much energy it takes to get that much weight up in the morning, you know, up, up. I was thinking to myself personally, uh, you know, just getting out of a, a leather recliner, you know? Well, that’s why you push that button and the chair goes up and gets you off the ground.

How many gallons of field does that take, do you think? Yeah, exactly. . Yeah, I call, I call my leather recliner there. I call my leather recliner, the, uh, volunteer chairperson because it’s easy to get into, hard to get out of my leather recliner. The volunteer chairperson, would somebody say Yes, yes, yes. Can I get Yes.

There’s a deteriorating fast there. Better idea. Yeah, you just go to. Channel your inner Tim Taylor from Tool Time and you motorize that thing fully and put wheels on it. Or if you wanna go up and down stairs, you, you can put tracks on it.

And yes, that is the theme to the Jetsons. And uh, the reason is we’re talking about flying cars. That’s right. Yes. Now you’ve actually been in flying cars and past. I’ve been in a couple.

Yeah. Just one or two or three. Or you’ve, so Mark Berg might be saying, this is the year of efficiency. Yes. I’m saying this is the year of the flying car. Well, wait a minute. Now, you’ve been talking about this coming up in the future. You can buy ’em now. You can buy them now. Yes. They’re here. Yes. Did you buy one yet?

So did you order one yet? I might. So it’s the Jetson one. Isn’t that amazing? Night? Wow. What else are you gonna name it? Yeah. Um, millennium. They’re sold, they’re sold. They’re sold out for 2023. You can order for delivery in 2024. Ready to fly in the United States of America. Now if, if, if it’s like most vehicles, traditional vehicles, yes.

Usually you don’t wanna buy the first model year . So, so I guess I’m probably good going with the 2024 model here, right? Yeah. So you let ’em work the bugs out of the first model year. Right. And then I guess flying cars the same way, I’m assuming, I suppose you could say that. So I’m not sure how can, okay.

So here’s the picture of it. So it’s not something that you’re gonna fly at 20 below in North Dakota because it No, it’s open cockpit. It’s, it’s open cock. So it’s not like you’re going to, oh, oh, hey, I have this flying car. And yes, uh, road closures be damned. I can get up above the, the white out ground drifting and actually see for six months a year around here.

This would be, I might bundle up and get in that. It looks like a blast, doesn’t it? It does. It, it, it kinda looks like those little tiny. Helicopters is Yes. Flying. That’s exactly what it is. It actually, uh, it’s designed basically to fly like 20 feet off the ground, but you can go up to 1500 feet with this.

It will also, if the motor goes out, it will still land, uh, without hurting. Just quicker. Yeah. Yeah, flying quicker. , it’s, well, it’s kinda like an ultra light. It is kinda like an, I’m looking at the picture though, and where’s the buttons that it just folds up into my briefcase. Where you get to work like George Shez.

So not quite there yet. Not there. Okay. But isn’t May, maybe that’s the upgrade for the 2024 model. It is an electric vehicle, uh, vertical. So it’s an, it’s an E E V T O L. So electric, vertical takeoff and landing. So it’s not like a fixed wing aircraft, personal helicopter where you need to have a runway or whatever.

Literally your backyard, it’s a catapult or your driveway . Well, doesn’t need a catapult. Cause it just goes straight up and down. 20 minutes of flight time can shoot you straight up and, and uh, um, I think it’s a hundred kilometers an hour. So that would be what, what 60 miles an hour? Yeah. So in that neighborhood, so it’s not fast, fast, but again, at 60 miles an hour zipping around town, uh, that’s not so terrible.

I mean, you, you’re, and what’s the flight time? 20 minutes. 20 minutes. So you could go to Washburn Ice or to Wilton Probably. And then have to charge it back up. Yeah. Yeah. So it’s not. You know, not like the E hang 180 4 that I was in, that that actually goes 150 miles an hour, uh, and still has that, uh, 20 to 25 minutes.

So, um, and there will be, there will be a time when this battery life will get, you know, more, but the, the challenges of course is that battery’s heavy, right? Crazy heavy. So hence the assisted takeoff. Yes. Yeah. Uh, but you know, for zipping around town, I mean this, oh, by the way, well think of this in a big city.

So how far can you travel in 15 minutes versus gridlock traffic? Oh yeah. And if you’re looking at high rises, you can go from this office building to that office building six blocks away and park on that roof and Yes. Get charges while you are there. I mean, you, a meeting, you know, at, at 60 miles an hour and 20 minute flight time, you still, that’s 20 miles, that’s 15 to 20 miles that you can go.

Yeah. Uh, that gets you across la. , you know, so you can zip around these big towns, uh, pretty efficiently. Oh, by the way, no pilot’s license Really? Isn’t that amazing? Well, we were, we started to talk about the FA regulations. Yes. And what they were trying to do with, uh, the, the fixed wing electric capacity under today’s regulations with the faa.

So does this fall under an ultra light, or, yes, it does. And, uh, uh, as long as you, I don’t know if you have to get your, like, your drone certification, I’m guessing that you probably have to the 1 0 7, but it’s really like flying a drone. I mean, that really is what this is. So, uh, , you wanna get one, don’t you, Kevin?

Well, I don’t know about the not having a pilot’s license. I’m just curious what it’s weight rated to, you know, as a full figured guy. , uh, I’m just curious, , what, how much of the guy can that one seed hold? I believe so. You’re fine. Yeah, I’m good. So, with three full figured guys in this room. Uh, but we’re all good, I think, but we’re all, so we’d have to each take one.

Yeah, yeah, yeah. So I, this is not a two seater. Yeah. This is just a one person. So, doesn’t work for date night. No, no. Although that would be fun. Y well, yeah. . Hey, honey. Yeah. . So, yeah, I, I’m, uh, um, I’m pretty excited. Probably we’re gonna check out the sunset from New Salem too. . All right. It’s probably about the fact that this is actually coming, you know, and then the, uh, um, Japan’s version, so Japan has a SkyDrive.

which is one of the ones I have been in. And, uh, the Sky Drive 2026. And then that actually looks more like a drone, but it’s an enclosed cockpit. So this is enclosed two people. I’m gonna go that route, 150 miles an hour, much faster in the same, same flight time, but it’s, it’s a bigger vehicle. So, you know what’s ironic?

So I look at that and I can see the functionality there. This one really does look like a helicopter with four props and stuff. Right? One big rotor. It’s a big drone. Yeah. Is what it is. It’s, it looks like a big drone. Yep. Um, but here’s the irony I get. If you go and, and I’ve got a lot of friends that have done work in Japan and, and travel over to overseas.

Yep. What do you not see in Japan? So if you’re in Tokyo or where, what do you not see investment into? Electric vehicles. Oh, that’s interesting. You do not see electric vehicles or the investment into the infrastructure for electric vehicles in Japan. They don’t have the charging stations. And you would think that it’s, it’s not a space they’ve gone into.

They even take a look like a company like Toyota. They did not go down the road of electric vehicles. They went down the road and stayed to that, even with the, the tax incentives to go to electric. They stayed with the hybrid models, but now you see Japan getting into the flying vehicle space in the electric space.

So that would be, they might be, and we, we’ve talked about this before, I guess, in, you know, I have four thoughts going in my head at one time here. Okay.

Japan didn’t go down the road and Japanese companies didn’t go down the road of electric vehicles. You take Toyota for example, they went down the hybrid road, which now you see, you know, brought this up like the new Dodge Ram or the, uh, which I really love the, the gmc, the Hummer.

Oh, uh, love that truck. But can I get in a 6.2 liter? Well, then we can talk. Um, but with Dodge going down the road on their electric pickup truck, you can get a mileage extender, which is an internal incus. Bustion engine built into for an added cost, uh, for an upgrade price, which is kind of where we’re at right now.

But let’s get rid of that and let’s go a different route. Um, so I e hybrid of sorts. Um, Toyota just stayed the course with that. So, uh, they’re far and ahead of everybody else when it comes to the hybrid market, right. Um, and, and rightly so. I think that’s a good path that they stayed on. But we got talking about the four things that popped into your head about electric vehicles and versus electric vehicles because this started with flying cars and, uh, Japan’s gone down that road a little bit stronger than some of the other, uh, producers.

And the questions why. So, uh, number one was infrastructure, right? And, uh, I mean, Japan is landlocked. . So I think about, you know, what it takes to produce power, electricity, and if you’re going to change your population to. All electric vehicles. I mean, in the United States, we, we have to at least double the production of electricity to power our cars.

Yeah. Now you’re looking at a very small space and they, in Japan, because they’re landlocked and they’re, um, constrained with what their power needs are. Right. And power consumption. And power production. Right. So these are 20, 21 numbers. Uh, natural gas leads the way at 34.4% for electricity production.

Uh, coal is number two at 31%. Nuclears 6.9%. Renewables 20.3%. But what was interesting about renewables, they peaked. They peaked, they peaked last decade. So it’s a nice little piece, but it’s not the piece you’re going to rely solely on. So it’s going the other way now for Yes. And then petroleum and waste 7.4%.

So from a an energy perspective, pretty balanced portfolio. It is. I mean, I would imagine as electric needs grow in Japan, um, I’m not sure how much more they can produce. No, it’ll be interesting to see. They may have to import electricity from somebody else. And in a, you know, in the world that we’re in, um, you know, that to me is a huge security issue.

Imagine if we imported all of our electricity here and somebody could just turn the switch off, switch, and we have an electricity in this. Well, and for us in this country, it, the two things that are constraints are the stability of the grid, which nobody’s really talked about. No, but you’re taking a look at a small country like Japan, uh, they don’t have that issue.

Right. Because if you have a weak spot and you, you can fix it a lot easier than our interconnected grid here. Yeah. Uh, and then it’s the production side of things. Where are you going for production? And we see, especially up here, how many wind farms were, were turning with 55 mile an hour winds last. none.

Or when it gets to 30 below none. Yeah. So that’s a big constraint when it comes to the renewable side of things or how much electricity is being produced in a solar field or that solar panel on your house when you’re in a blizzard. None. So there’s constraints to the types of power production. So I would say that, you know, first of all that that would be why Japan isn’t moving in that direction.

The second thing is, is that I know Japan is about efficiency, cuz it is the year of efficiency. It is Zer, mark Zuckerberg said so. So yes. What is the average nom price of electricity in the United States right now? Oh. You can weigh in on this too. Well, it varies greatly across the country. Does, because, you know, North Dakota is the second lowest at 8.10 cents a kilowatt hour.

Yeah. Because we’ve got cooperatives and, and Right. That interconnected system Yes. Stuff. Yeah. We, we’ve got that. We’re, we’re great here. Yes. Yep. So, which, not the lowest though. No. Idaho’s the lowest we, we used to be. And Idaho has a lot more hydro. Yes. Uh, which is very cheap electricity produced. Yeah. But, but just one 10th of a penny more here.

Right. So, uh, so average is about 14 cents. Okay. In Japan, it’s a quarter. So when you start thinking about efficiencies, and we talked about this when I fueled my car up in Vegas a couple weeks ago. Tried to fuel you. Yes. Tried to fuel it up. That cost me 43 cents a kilowatt hour to fuel that car up. Right.

You and I did the math on that. It was actually less expensive. If you have a. Combustion car at 30 miles a gallon, paying four and a half dollars. Cause, cause I that 20, it was $27 to, to fuel the car, the electric car, uh, for 175 miles. Did we factor in the other component to that collision? What component?

No, it wasn’t pie. Um, no, the other component is what was your time? Is Oh my goodness. That’s not even What’s the value of your time? Because Yeah, I know. Spending two days trying to charge an electric, it literally took me six hours to charge that car because I couldn’t find a station to charge. It wouldn’t, the ones I were trying to get to my next month will be four days at least.

Oh my goodness. That check at Marlo’s at Marlo’s, efficiency rate, , he’s worth $10,000 an hour. So that stopped cost him $60,000. But that’s an important salary calculation, especially if you’re working in the business world. So, oh, I couldn’t, I couldn’t have been more frustrated Right. About that whole experience.

But this to me is why Japan isn’t moving down this road because, uh, economically, You know, gas is in diesel is still the better choice for them because it’s efficient, because they can’t produce a lot more electricity, so they’re gonna go that route. Efficiencies come into play when you’re able to get into the air with electric vehicles because now you don’t have, you know, you’re just not gonna burn as much electricity trying to get around town because it’s easy to move across, especially if you got a catapult on your.

Building route, right? That’s correct, yes. Or just drop off the site. Yeah, just . If in a skyscraper you might be able to do that. Watch that first step though. ,

going back to, uh, anyway, autonomous vehicles. Yes. And, and flying vehicles. And why Japan went down this road. Um, and, and you think it’s because of the flying and autonomous side of things? Because infrastructure’s expensive. So you take a look at what we’re. Great example is right now you take a look at the bridges across the country.

What if you didn’t have to span a river or a stream or Right. Or Right. Yeah. Yeah. And we’ve talked about that even locally here. I mean, about the idea of putting a new bridge to the north of Bismarck and Mandan and, you know, if, if we weren’t going to flying cars, put a catapult on one side, kind, when this catapult thing did, Heyford just jump it.

Yeah. Let’s DKA hazards it. Eva can evil it hazards it. Yeah. Yeah, exactly. Yeah. Yeah. Congratulations. And then if you actually make it successful, you get a little, little sticker to put on your car. Ooh. I like that . I, I jumped the Missouri River

with, with, with the Bachan Catapult. , you know, sounds catastrophic. Yes. Now you got me thinking. Okay. Anyway, just, just to wrap up though, because we’re thinking about Japan and, and why they didn’t go down the EV road. Yep. , pun intended. Um, specifically And, and you were thinking, cuz this was your other thinking point, that we actually wrote a couple down so we didn’t get off track, uh, because there were thinking about the flying vehicles or the autonomous side of things.

Yes, that’s what I was thinking. Yeah. So Yes. The other thing with it, I’m just looking at all kinds of things about Japan right now. So density per square mile for people’s 339 per square mile. Per square mile. Wow. And there are actually rural parts of Yeah. Of Japan. Right. What’s our, I wonder what our density per square mile is for us.

I’m gonna density per square. I should be able to type faster. Right. Well, now we’re in my, now we’re in my wheelhouse talking about density.

I think we’re gonna need a bigger catapult, . So the United States is 93. Wow. So, four times as dense in Japan as we are in the United States. So again, I’m just throwing all this stuff together. They don’t, they’re, they don’t have, uh, as many people, of course, they’re at 127 million to our 350, but it much smaller country.

Much smaller country. But their, their density is, you know, so they don’t, they don’t have the ability, again to, to produce a lot of power stuff. So they have to look at efficiencies. Autonomous vehicles are become more efficient for them too, because you. You can take your autonomous vehicle down to work and your vehicle will go home or it’ll, or go to work and pick up other people.

And you know, so the vehicles that are gonna be on the road when we have autonomous vehicles will be a lot less because they’ll be more efficient in how they’re used. Well, and, and look at the efficiencies in their transportation system. You take a look at the bullet trains and the, the high speed rail that they have.

Right. And which kind of, because that they don’t sit on the tracks unless they’re station. Yep. Yeah, they’re elevated. Yep. So you take a look at some of that technology that Japan already has and now you can fold that into other autonomous or other, um, without saying flying. How do you say? Flying. Flying, okay.

Flying, flying vehicles. Yeah. But you’ve got a lot of different technologies that are out there. , uh, they’re kind of ahead of, well, I don’t think they have a choice. No. When, when you have that kind of dense population, you have to figure out ways to become efficient. That’s just how it is. And, and transportation is one of those main things.

And, and I truly believe that you’re gonna, I mean, flying cars are gonna be coming, you know, to fruition pretty fast here over the next four or five years now, autonomous vehicles, I mean, there are vehicles now that have, uh, like valet. Are you familiar with the valet service in some cars? Mm-hmm. , when you’re, are you familiar with valet, Kevin?

So, uh, well, I’m from the plains, so I think you’re talking about eastern part of the state. I see. No, not vale. Yeah. Valet. Valet, yes. Valet again for you. Yes, yes. Or I not focus comic relief valet . But valet service, you know, in, in, uh, a lot of our newer cars now means that when you’re in a parking or like you’re at a shopping mall, And the car will, you’ll go to the front door, the car will actually go pick it or drop itself off.

And when you’re ready to go, you can actually just sum it, sum of it, summit, call it with your phone, sum summon, thank you. With your phone and it’ll come pick you up. You know, so it’ll, it’s doing these type of things already. And the reason they can do that is because it’s on private property. Sure. So as the government allows these, these type of services to become a reality on public roads, then you can send your car home, you can send your car to go get your kids.

You can do all this kind of stuff moving forward. And well, just thinking full, full circle. And it’s big circle now, um, you know, one of the first conversations when you and I first met was about autonomous corridors. Yep. And what that does for shipping freight. Now you talk about the end user, uh, from rail.

And they’ll say it’s like they can take care of it all except for that last mile, right? The first mile, the last mile. And that’s where a lot of the space for autonomous vehicles come in because now you’ve got the opportunity to go ship that last piece of product. And that to me is where the game changing opportunity lies, is that there’s a lot, and what’s cool about that space, Steve, is these cool vehicles that are emerging.

You have these, these pizza delivery cars now that are like a third of the size of regular cars that are gonna be zipping around autonomously because all they have to do is deliver pizza. Right. Or that farm to market where the farmer who’s growing carrots out there can put ’em in a car that’s refrigerated and send it around town and you can pick your produce up in this refrigerated car.

It’s really cool stuff as far. Well, and when you start looking at those autonomous corridors in the opportunity to charge those vehicles in route Yep. That’s game changing. Yep. Because you and I have talked about the ability to charge a roadway, which it’s almost like that third rail back in the day.

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