Flying cars are back in the news this week with the Terrafugia Transition gaining FAA certification
as a road-registerable aircraft. Exciting stuff, but the Transition doesn't quite satisfy our fantasies of being able to just press a button and lift off out of traffic, landing on the roof of our city office building to make that 9am meeting; it's basically a light plane with retractable wings that you can drive on the road – you're still stuck taking off and landing at airstrips. So here's a quick look over what else is out there and in development in the world of flying cars and motorcycles … with a bonus look at some personal flying saucers, a flying boat and a few concepts that will never
get off the ground.
Moller International is selling its Jetson-like M200X 2-passenger VTOL prototype on eBay. Although it's a long way from the latest designs to rise from the Moller drawing-board like the hybrid flying car
, the M200X is a significant piece of aviation history, having completed over 200 manned and unmanned flight demonstrations since 1989.
September 9, 2008 Moller International has announced that it has designed a hybrid flying car. The two-seater autovolantor is fashioned in the shape of a Ferrari 599 GTB with wings and is claimed to be capable of lifting off vertically from a traffic jam and flying at up to 150 mph for a short distance (about 15 minutes). The autovolantor is designed to function on the road very much like a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) using one of its eight Rotapower engines to generate enough electrical power to drive for up to 40 miles.
July 20, 2008 As the rate of technological advances continues at an astonishing pace there’s probably one question that gets asked more than any other by the average person in the street – or the average person stuck in traffic anyway - why don’t we have flying cars
yet? Well the simple answer is that developing a flying car is hard. But the long wait for the solution to car clogged streets could be coming to an end with Moller International announcing that it is in the process of completing its fourth M200 “Jetson” volantor airframe and it expects to complete forty of these fly-by-wire, multi-engine flying vehicles in 2009.
October 3, 2005 Neiman Marcus, the specialty retailer renowned for its unique luxurious offerings,
never fails to make available some delectable big toys for big boys and girls when it unveils its annual Christmas Catalogue. In recent years we’ve seen the Neiman Marcus Christmas Book offer a Custom Designed Mermaid Suit
, a Dodge 500hp Tomahawk motorcycle
and even the first commercially-available Deep Flight Aviator
, but the 79th Annual Christmas catalogue has exceeded all previous efforts by putting the M400 Moller Skycar Prototype
on sale – it’ll set you back just US$3.5 million but what the heck! Other fantasy gifts for the person who dares to dream big included in the 2005 book include a His & Hers Photo Booth, an NM Edition Lexus GS 450h (in 2003, the limited edition BMW 645Ci sold out in seven minutes), a Dreamboat levitating sculpture with "no visible means of support," a Grand Empire Railroad, and a replica of the 2005 Indianapolis 500 Mile Race winning car with flat-screen monitor, IndyCar Series 2005 video game and all related electronics.
UPDATED November 15, 2004
After recent successful tethered hovering flights of the M400 Skycar
, including at the at the WIRED NextFest
in San Francisco in May, 2004, Moller International is accepting deposits to secure delivery positions this groundbreaking vehicle. A 10% deposit of US$100,000 will put you in the top 100 on the delivery list for the M-400 Skycar, which is expected to be FAA-certified for use by the end of 2005. Over 100 reservations have already been placed and demand is expected to grow as the working model nears production.
It would look right at home on the set of Bladerunner or the latest Star Wars film, but the Moller M400 Skycar - a versatile, economical, safe, environmentally-responsible Flying Car - is definitely for real.June 3, 2004 It would look right at home on the set of Bladerunner or the latest Star Wars film, but the Moller M400 Skycar - a versatile, economical, safe, environmentally-responsible Flying Car - is definitely for real. Opening up the next frontier in automotive personal transport, the SkyCar is a VTOL (Vertical Takeoff and Landing) vehicle with a cruising speed of 600kmh, a range of more than 1400km, runs on almost any fuel from diesel to natural gas and achieves better fuel efficiency than many sports cars (15mpg or 19 litres per 100km).