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Moller Skycar

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The Moller Skycar is a personal VTOL (vertical take-off and landing) aircraft: a "flying car" -- called a "volantor" by its inventor Paul Moller[?]. The Skycar passed its first real flight tests in 2003, and is now under development towards practical deployment.

The M400 Skycar, intended to be a flying machine for four passengers with VTOL capabilities, is currently in the prototype phase.

It is described as a car since it is aimed at being a popular means of transport anyone can drive, incorporating automated flight controls. The driver should only input direction and speed, no pilot knowledge being required.

Also it is argued that using inexpensive engines (Wankel type) and hardware, 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 $ 1 million.

Its features include 350 mph cruise speed, eight low-emission Wankel engines, garage size, consumption like a big car, a parachute for the whole machine and road capacity for short distances (to be driven to a take-off facility - called vertiport).

The main drawbacks will be fuel consumption and noise. Even if consumption in miles per gallon is eventually the same as a car, it is clear, given their high speeds, that these vehicles would be used for much longer commuting and travelling trips, therefore increasing total emissions notably. Such vehicles could not be used in metropolitan areas for everyday trips without greatly disturbing the peace. But their use could bring decisive operating advantages as patrols, firefighter and ambulance vehicles.

See also Flying car, Transport and Automobile.

External links

  • Moller International (http://www.moller.com/)
  • MIT, Technology Review, May 23, 2003, An Aircar in Every Garage? (http://www.technologyreview.com/articles/wo_dreier052303.asp) Quote: "...This vision could be realized sooner than you think. The technology of personal VTOL transportation is "expanding and will soon be exploding," says Bushnell..."
  • Overview of Skycar and transportation (http://www.skyaid.org/Skycar/overview2001ALL.htm) Quote: "... The M400 uses gasoline. Depending on altitude and cruise speed, the Skycar can be expected to get 18 to 22 mpg. Each takeoff requires approximately 1/10 gallon of gas. The M400's rotary engines will soon be capable of using other fuels, such as methanol, ethanol, jet fuel, diesel, liquid natural gas, and hydrogen...."
  • Overview of Skycar and transportation (http://www.skyaid.org/Skycar/overview2001ALL.htm) Quote: "...The Skycar operates under adverse conditions - its compact shape makes it flyable at night, in fog, in most storms, high winds, microbursts, and conditions other light aircraft cannot handle [--]- however, tornadoes, thunderstorms, severe icing, and hurricanes will need to be avoided...."
  • Overview of Skycar and transportation (http://www.skyaid.org/Skycar/overview2001ALL.htm) Quote: "...the Skycar is expected to be as quiet as a delivery truck on takeoff and landing - 70 decibels at 50 feet [16m]..."

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