Whatterz


Moller Skycar

by Simon. Average Reading Time: about a minute.

The Moller Skycar is a prototype personal VTOL aircraft – a “flying car” – called a “volantor” by its inventor Paul Moller.

Moller Skycar M400 Volante

The Skycar demonstrated limited tethered flight capability in 2003. More tethered flight tests are now scheduled for an undisclosed date sometime after mid 2006. Moller is currently upgrading the Skycar’s engines, and the improved prototype is now called the “M400X”.

Given the machine’s very protracted development and its ambitiousness, skepticism that the machine will work as claimed remains high. The craft currently under development, the M400, is intended to ultimately transport four people. It is described as a car since it is aimed at being a popular means of transport for anyone who can drive, incorporating automated flight controls. The driver should only input direction and speed, no pilot knowledge being required.

Also, it is argued that by using eight inexpensive Wankel rotary engines, its price will eventually fall close to that of a quality car, even if at the moment the price for the first units is expected to be close to US$1 million.

Its proposed features would include 275 mph (442 km/h) cruise speed, 375 mph (603 km/h) maximum speed, eight redundant, low-emission Wankel engines for safety, residential garage size, fuel consumption like a big car, a parachute for the whole machine and road capability for short distances (to be driven to a vertiport). Although current plans call for use of alcohol fuel, cheap, lightweight fuel, such as liquid hydrogen, could be used as an alternative to gasoline, as in the Mazda RX-8 Hydrogen RE, although the lower energy density will limit range.

Moller Skycar M400 Hover Test

There are a great set of videos on their website: http://moller.com

This article has been tagged

, , , , , , , , , , ,

Other articles I recommend

Single Seat Helicopter Concept

In the early 20th Century, Henry Ford realised a dream and brought the motor vehicle to the masses with the Model-T Ford. Skip forward a hundred years and personalised flight is the new arena. Igarashi Design has introduced a single seat helicopter with war-like looks.

Concorde

Aérospatiale-BAC Concorde supersonic transport (SST), along with the Tupolev Tu-144, was one of only two models of supersonic passenger airliners to have seen commercial service. First flown in 1969, her service spanned from 1976 to 2003. The 1973 oil crisis, along with political opposition and environmental controversy led British Airways (BA) and Air France to be the sole buyers. She flew most regularly from London Heathrow and Paris Charles de Gaulle to New York JFK. A crash north of Paris in 2000, caused by tyre debris piercing a fuel tank, grounded the fleet whilst modifications were carried out. This, along with her age, the unwillingness of Airbus to continue maintenance, and the downturn in US demand for flights in the light of the 11 September 2001 terrorist attacks, prompted BA and Air France to jointly decide to withdraw her from service in 2003. In retirement, Concorde remains an icon of aircraft history.

Sony DSC-N2 Digital Camera

My new toy the Sony DSC-N2 Digital Camera (10.1MP, 3x optical zoom) 3″ LCD is an awesome little toy. The Sony Cyber-shot DSC-N2 is an upgrade of the existing DSC-N1 model. The Sony N2 derives its higher ten mega pixel resolution from a 1/1.7″ CCD imager, rather than the eight mega pixel 1/1.8″ imager used in the previous camera. This is coupled with the same popup Carl Zeiss Vario-Tessar zoom lens, which offers a 3x optical zoom range equivalent to 38-114mm on a 35mm camera.

  • David

    Awesome!

  • http://www.talkinator.com/ Oilygarch

    Would be nice if this weren’t pie-in-the-sky. Get it? ;) LOL