this the shape of travel to come
many times have you given up on an idea after toying with it for
just a few days? Dr. Paul Moller, of Moller International has shown
that he does not belong in that category. From his early childhood
in rural British Columbia, Canada to his current work at Moller
International, he has shown an tremendous capacity to persevere
where others might have lost faith.
company, Moller International Inc. of Davis, California is betting
that consumers are ready to embrace a radical new way of travelling
by foregoing traditional commercial flights for the convenience
of the Moller M400 Skycar. What many still view as science fiction
may soon become reality - science "faction". With investments
of more than US$100 million over the past 3 decades, Dr. Moller
and his team are in the early stages of ground testing their flagship
M400 Skycar VTOL (vertical takeoff and landing), 4-seater personal
vehicle. Because of the complexity and ground breaking nature of
their R&D, a firm completion date is not yet available.
by eight specially designed rotary engines producing 960 hp, the
be able to transport passengers between US destinations in a pressurized
cabin at a cruising speed of 350 mph at just 15 miles to the gallon.
It will have a range of 900 miles, fly up to 30,000 feet and use
regular automotive gasoline. An earlier version, the 2-seater M200X,
has made more than 150 successful hovering and low speed flights,
over the past ten years and is the inspiration for the M400.
pilot of the Skycar will use two hand-operated controls to control
speed and direction but it is the automated management system consisting
of three independent computers that will actually fly the aircraft.
Only one computer is needed for operation. In the event of a serious
system malfunction, two parachutes will be deployed to guide the
vehicle and its occupants to a safe landing.
VanAbrahams, Public Relations Director at Moller, told Innovationhouse.com
that based on current projections, the M400 Skycar could be available
to the general public within 5 years. Already, reservations for
over 75 Skycars have been secured with deposits. For more information
on the M400 Skycar, visit http://www.moller.com.
International has also produced and delivered unmanned aerial vehicles
(Aerobots) capable of vertical takeoff and landing and hovering,
aerobots, to several customers. Applications include bridge and
freeway inspection, remote sensing and aerial photography. Obviously,
Dr. Moller and his team are unaware that in 1899, it is claimed
that Charles H Duell, then commissioner of the US patent office,
said "Everything that can be invented has been invented."
Copyright © 1999 - 2001 Innovationhouse.com.
All rights reserved.