Flying Car Nearing Launch, Robot Dog to Chase It

skycar.jpgAccording to BBC News, Dr. Paul Moller’s Davis, California company Moller International is just about ready to start selling the M 200G, a vehicle they like to call the “flying saucer.”
The M 200G is a flying car, sort of, that operates on eight turbofans which can be run on gasoline, diesel or ethanol. The turbofans utilize opposite-motion to eliminate the need for a rear stabilizer propeller to keep the damn thing from spinning around in a circle. The M 200G hovers “like a helicopter” up to 10 feet off the ground, mostly because to go any higher the operator would need a pilot’s license.
Promising that their “flying saucer” will be on sale in the next few months for around $90,000, Moller International sees the M 200G as a precursor to their “Skycar,” which I wrote about way back in 1999 when it was first announced. The plans on that puppy have it operating like a real flying car; it’ll be driveable on the ground and will fly at 400 miles an hour — a lot more than 10 feet off the ground, since it can climb at 6,000 feet a minute.
Part of the problem with getting the M 200G to market is that it’s unclear whether the FAA or the US Department of Transportation has authority over the thing. Ten feet’s sort of, you know, that gray area.
The Skycar, however, is very clearly in the FAA’s realm, and will require a pilot’s license to fly, since Moller is no longer counting on the original plan proposed in ’99 — to have a fly-by-wire system that would be fully automated. Moller hopes to have the Skycar to market within about six years.
See also: I Got Yer Flying Car
Image: From Moller International, via Wikipedia.

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