Okay, talking about a “manned drone” is as monumental an oxymoron as talking about a bonsai the size of a tree, given that precisely the word “drone” refers to an unmanned aircraft. Apparently the term began to be used with this use in 1946, but why not guess its origin?

With this use, because the word already existed: although it may seem, is not an acronym, but a common English word that designates the male bees responsible for fertilizing the queen. We call them drones, and it is clear why instead of translating the original term we have simply Spanishized it as “drone”. It is a case similar to Wolverine’s, that of the X-Men: wolverine is not a baby wolf, but a different species, a mustelid with the scientific name Gulo gulo that in Spanish is known as … glutton.

The autonomous personal air vehicle Ehang 184. YouTube image.

The autonomous personal air vehicle Ehang 184. YouTube image.

But what I was going. The current drones are those that have popularized the configuration of the quadcopter, the apparatus of four horizontal propellers, and this same scheme is the one adopted by the Russian company HoverSurf for its Scorpion-3, a pileup that its own inventors qualify as hoverbike , or flying bike; another oxymoron, since the two wheels are missing. HoverSurf already accepts orders, although at the moment they do not offer details about dates and prices. See it in action, but I must warn you: do not expect anything spectacular. Yes, fly, fly

The question of how to call these artifacts illustrates the fact that we still do not have standardized words to name personal air vehicles. Naturally, because we still do not have personal air vehicles, which they call PAV for its acronym in English. And it is unlikely that we will have them, but it will not be for lack of bets. As I have said here on some previous occasion, there are several initiatives that are taking to practice the most classic of retrofuturistic gadgets , and several of them already work.

Even the European Union has funded a project to study the concept. But only the concept: imagine what it would be like to try to regulate a three-dimensional traffic that could overcome any obstacle or barrier? Can you imagine some overtaking not only by left and right, but by up and down? It would be the paradise of aggressive drivers.

The most visionary of the current millionaire technologists, Elon Musk, who with his Tesla brand promotes the auto-mobiles (that is, the cars that really are), has long since fallen out of the idea of ​​the flying car. In a recent interview with Bloomberg, he reiterated that it does not seem like a good idea: “If someone does not keep his flying car well, he could fall off a hubcap and guillotine.” Instead, Musk opts to take the traffic to the third dimension, but not above, but below, digging tunnels.

And despite everything, it seems that the first PAV are going to take off this year. The government of Dubai intends to launch in July a service of air taxis using Chinese quadcopter Ehang 184 (actually with eight propellers arranged two to two). According to the director general of the Emirates Highways and Tansports Authority, Mattar Al-Tayer, traveling in these flying cars will be “like riding an elevator”. The vehicles will not be driven by their sole passenger, but will be autonomous; They will fly alone to the programmed destination with the help of a ground control center.


El Tribunal de Justicia de UE.

While awaiting the opinion of the Spanish Supreme Court on multi-currency mortgages, expected this week, the European Court of Justice has ruled against the lack of information offered to bank customers in the contracting of these products.

The Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) has ruled on Monday that banks must provide the client with ” enough information so that the latter can make sound and prudent decisions ” in the contracting of a loan in foreign currency. And between this information, the effects that a fluctuation of that currency can have on the return of the installments.

He has ruled that these clauses should be drafted “in a clear and understandable manner” The case that the Luxembourg Court resolves today is based on the loans signed between 2007 and 2008 by several Romanian citizens, who became indebted in Swiss francs with an entity from their country . At that time Swiss interest rates were low, when they began to rise, the currency was revalued and, consequently, the loan installments.


It is the same problem that affects 70,000 Spaniards, according to Asufin. The contracting of multi-currency mortgages – included in other currencies, especially Swiss francs and yen – skyrocketed in the years before the economic crisis because during the bubble, when interest rates in the eurozone were high, borrowing in other currencies was beneficial. The crisis of the euro and the rise of rates in Switzerland and Japan reversed this situation.

“We know of cases of people who asked for a mortgage of 450,000 euros to buy a villa, they promised to return the dues in yen … and when this coin was shot, the loan was raised to 780,000 euros”, they count 20 minutes from the cited association of banking users, which calculates that the average loss for Spanish mortgages amounts to about 200,000 euros.

Banks must report the risk of an appreciation of the foreign currency

The protest of those affected in Spain is the same as that made by Paula Andriciuc and other Romanian citizens in the case that today the CJEU resolves. They consider that the bank only informed them of the benefits of returning the quotas in Swiss francs, but not of the damages of the revaluation of that currency or of the probability of its occurrence. It would be, therefore, a “non-binding abusive clause” and a “deceptive” product.

That is what the European Justice has ruled this Wednesday. The court ruled that these clauses should be drafted “in a clear and understandable manner” and that they should be “transparent” about the operation of the mechanism so that the consumer assesses the economic consequences of signing the contract.

The Court We fully trust that the Supreme Court will protect all affected Spanish Luxembourg, in its ruling, urges banks to provide “sufficient information” so that the client knows the risk to which is exposed when signing this type of loan. For example, inform about the possible variations of the exchange rates , as well as the effects that would entail in the loan installments .

The European court does not enter to decide if in the case of the Romanian citizens this “information imbalance between the parties to the contract” occurred, but it does urge the judge of that country who raised the query to assess whether the requirement of “sufficient information” or if, otherwise, it was an “abusive clause” and a breach of “requirement of good faith” by the entity.

“We fully trust that the Supreme Court will also protect all the Spanish victims who have been demanding justice for years,” the president of Asufin, Patricia Suárez, congratulated herself this morning, after hearing the ruling of the European Justice that she describes as “magnificent and providential” .

More information about:

  • Court of Justice of the European Union – CJEU