The Moller M400 Skycar
For Sale on eBay for $1 Million
Disruptive technology has caused the FAA great consternation. The entrepreneurs of UASs and now flying cars move to a timeline with which the federal safety regulators have great difficulty to meet. The history of the invasion of the drones and their tactics to get Congress to force premature approval of the vehicles and their operation is prime example of what the bimodal vehicles (air and ground) are likely to attempt.
The UAS sector posed problems to other aircraft and people on the ground; the Skycar’s initial entry is a larger vehicle which has the potential for greater damage in both dimensions. Its weight (2,400#) and air speed (350 mph) generate physical forces which are a significantly greater risk.
Now, Moller International, Inc. is offering its M400 for sale on eBay. The terms of the offer include a declaration that it “cannot be flown.” According to Flying magazine, thankfully, the $1,000,000 price tag has not attracted a list of consumers, YET.
Once one person decides that the M400 is the solution to commuting headaches, the FAA will face the same headache!!!
- Cars that can fly will challenge the FAA as to certification & operation!!!
- Some thoughts on a Road Map to FAA safety rules for Flying Cars in the NAS
- FAA—out of UAS frying pan & into the Flying Car Fire
- New Class of Airspace Users, Flying Cars, need to recognize that urgent promulgation of rules is not always the best
Catching up to market developments is not the best method to regulate such disruptive technology. Hopefully, the Administrator and/or Ali Bahrami has tasked a solution-oriented Flight Standards/Certification task force to prepare for these bimodal locusts invading the NAS. (Some of the airspace/transition challenges inherent in the expansion of UASs are quite similar.)
The eBay Page
FOR SALE: This is the original Moller M400 Skycar. It is the world’s first true VTOL (vertical-takeoff-and-landing) “Flying Car” to be demonstrated.
The M400 Skycar is a true museum piece, developed over many years and first flown in 2001 at the company’s shareholder meeting. It has since flown (under a restricted environment) many times. This vehicle was featured on the covers of Popular Science, Popular Mechanics, and the topic of countless news articles and broadcasts including 60 Minutes, ABC, Bloomberg, CNN, and Discovery Channel. The M400 Skycar is very prevalent on Google and You Tube.
A collector who buys the M400 will receive it in its original 2001 flight form and condition, complete with eight Rotapower engines that produced over 720 hp allowing the M400 Skycar to take off and land vertically. It should be noted, however, in this original form, it does not have FAA approval and a condition of this offer is that it cannot be flown. Nonetheless, this vehicle can be the centerpiece of any car or aircraft collection in a public or private museum. Reassembling the M400 back to its original state will take some time.
Alternatively, a bidder can buy the M400 Skycar and with the support of Moller International, make it the world’s first FAA approved VTOL capable “flying car”.
Over the last 30 years, Moller International has spent more than $150 million developing the engine and airframe technology to make this prototype possible. A modified version of the original M400 Skycar was previously offered for sale, but failed to meet the reserve. The M400 Skycar is now superseded by a hybrid Skycar 400 configuration and is available to be converted back to when it first flew.
Upon successful completion of this auction, Moller International will immediately transfer title to its new owner. A bidder that is first qualified by eBay is invited by Moller International to inspect the M400 Skycar during the auction. For more information please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Skycar 400 Specifications
The Skycar 400 is the 5th generation of VTOL aircraft developed by Dr. Paul Moller and is now in the “operational prototype” stage. The Skycar combines the high-speed capabilities of a fixed wing aircraft with the vertical take-off and landing capabilities of a helicopter. Its ducted fans provide lift and propulsion without the dangers of exposed rotor blades and high maintenance costs of rotary-winged aircraft. The vehicle employs state-of-the-art fly-by-wire computer technology to monitor, control, and maintain stability of the aircraft, while simultaneously making it simple and easy to operate.
In the future, passengers will not be required to fly the aircraft, as the Skycar will be an autonomous aircraft utilizing advanced onboard environment scanning and precise positioning systems, the highway-in-the-sky (HITS) and automated air traffic control in order to fly between destinations and avoid other air-traffic.
Skycar 400 Targeted Performance
|VTOL Configuration||Four thrust-vectoring nacelles with two counter-rotating Rotapower® engines per nacelle. Hybrid design configurations are currently under development|
|Emergency Airframe Parachutes||Yes|
|Noise Level at 500ft (Goal)||65 dBA|
|Dimensions (L x W x H)||21.5’ x 8.5’ x 7.5’|
|Operational ceiling||36,000 ft|
|Takeoff and landing area||35 ft dia|
|Max speed @sea-level||331 mph|
|Cruise Max speed @20,000 ft||308 mph|
|Rate of climb @sea-level||4,800 fpm|
|Disc loading||140 lb/ft2|
|Range @ 131 mph (21.3 mpg)||805 miles|
|Net payload||720 lbs|
|Gross weight||2,400 lbs|
|Continuous Engine Power (Total)||720 hp|
From the Moller International website
Details of the dispute between a regional branch of the Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC) and Moller Internataionl (“the Company”)
“Moller International, Inc. and Dr. Moller agreed to the settlement terms proposed by the SEC in order to bring the matter to an early resolution, since approval of the company’s 10-SB registration statement was essentially stalled by the SEC corporate division pending a resolution of the Texas investigation. Moreover, the company determined that defending an SEC formal investigation or lawsuit would dissipate company assets and prolong its ability to have an effective and approved registration statement. Finally, I believe we were able to demonstrate to the SEC that Dr. Moller’s activities did not constitute his acting as an underwriter within the meaning of the federal securities laws. It should also be noted that the Moller Interational 10-SB registration statement received a “cleared comments” notification from the SEC corporate finance division in August 2002, with the SEC’s full knowledge of the facts and proposed disposition of the Texas investiagion.”
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