Moller M400 Skycar
The Moller M400 Skycar is in fact a flying car and it is the first vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) vehicle in the world. It is much faster than a light aircraft and can achieve speeds up to 375 mph. (pics)
The Moller M400 Skycar flying automobile can reach this speed while achieving 20 miles per gallon on ethanol fuel and a range of 750 miles. As well as flying, the Moller Skycar is perfectly comfortable on the ground driving from A to B (although most likely not on highways).
Driving the Skycar is easy. All you need to do is move the directional controls and a computer does the rest. However, because of the avionics capabilities, you still need a pilot’s license in order to drive the flying car. The Moller Flying Car is designed to be able to hold four passengers, however plans are underway to create a six person model as well as a one person version.
Do not worry about storage space for the Moller Skycar as the model is designed to be able to fit inside a single car garage. Moller is hoping to get the flying car FAA power lift certified in the near future as well.
The technology of the flying car consists of an airframe which is designed to be lightweight and it is made from composite fiber reinforced plastic that can take the weight of four passengers.
The engine was designed to be similar to that used by the Harrier jump jet. Moller International has decided to use eight small rotary engines inside the flying car providing all the power.
Because the Moller Skycar is equipped with eight engines, if one fails then there are still seven engines working that will afford for continuation of flight and a safe landing There are also redundant computer systems at work should the main one fail or crash.
The fuel system is equipped with monitoring systems that will warn the pilot / driver of when the fuel is running low. The flying car also comes with automatic stabilization should wind speeds change. The rotary engines also have few moving parts meaning less wear and tear compared to most plane or car engines.
One of the most flexible aspects of the Moller flying car is that it can use almost any fuel from natural gas to ethanol to diesel. This means if you travel worldwide then you can always refuel with whatever is available in your given location.
The Moller Skycar would be ideal as a response vehicle to be used like an air ambulance or search and rescue vehicle. The flying car is also equipped with dual parachutes that are attached to the vehicle’s front and rear airframe. These will guide the vehicle to the ground should an accident occur.
Moller is currently working with the FAA to obtain certification of the M400 Skycar under the “powered lift normal” category. The airworthiness criteria manual, which governs the certification tests, was drafted by a team of FAA personnel and industry representatives. Moller International is a member of this team.
In addition, the FAA has established a “powered lift” pilot’s license. This, together with a thorough familiarization, will be required to pilot a Skycar, primarily to ensure adequate flight management and navigational skills. A Skycar is not piloted like a traditional fixed wing airplane and has only two hand-operated controls, which the pilot uses to inform the redundant computer control system of his or her desired flight maneuvers.
Via Cool Cars