Moller's Skycar Is Coming

Discuss life, the universe, and everything with other members of this site. Get to know your fellow polywell enthusiasts.

Moderators: tonybarry, MSimon

williatw
Posts: 1828
Joined: Mon Oct 12, 2009 7:15 pm
Location: Ohio

Moller's Skycar Is Coming

Postby williatw » Sat Jun 28, 2014 8:32 pm

I have had a soft spot for this one for years, so please forgive me:

TechFuture: Hold On! Paul Moller's Skycar Is Coming

Image
In telling this story, your intrepid reporter Bill Robinson meets Dr. Paul Moller, the inventor of the futuristic Skycar, a VTOL (Vertical Take-Off and Landing) vehicle. The press has written copious colossal criticisms and unflattering articles on the Moller Skycar in the past, however TechFuture thought to be fair, another look was warranted.

A long-ago Scientific American article proclaimed:

"The 21st century feels like a letdown. We were promised flying cars, space colonies and 15-hour workweeks. Robots were supposed to do our chores, except when they were organizing rebellions; children were supposed to learn about disease from history books; portable fusion reactors were supposed to be on sale at the Home Depot. Even dystopian visions of the future predicted leaps of technology and social organization that leave our era in the dust."



It's the "flying cars" part that this column will examine.

I don't know about you, but I'm not all that disappointed or "letdown" because I know they are coming; it's just a matter of time.

However, if you are feeling dejected and gloomy, never fear; there's a flying car coming right at you in the near future. A "Jetsons-like" transportation mode is just around the corner.

Steadfastly ignoring all the detractors and naysayers, Dr. Paul Moller has pursued his beautiful obsession to the hilt; never giving a darn about what Scientific American or anybody else was saying. He just kept right on pushing.

Aeronautical and engineering experts have declared Moller's Skycar as "impossible" and online flamers have pontificated for years that it's a fraud, laughing and calling names all the way. But Moller and his company Moller International carry right on, unabated on his 50-year plus journey and quest for a flying car to change human life forever.

I'm with him 1000%. I always support the underdog. I like the 'Davids' of this world and their chances to overcome insurmountable odds. I just love people who pursue their dream and don't let any of the nattering nabobs of negativism get in their way.

None of the people who love to hate Paul Moller have talked to the man. They haven't done extensive research on him, his designs or the evolution of his Skycar; they know nothing and just lie back criticizing.


Image

Passengers: 4
Top speed @ 25,000 ft: 350 mph
Cruise speed @ 25,000 ft (80% Max Range): 315 mph
Cruise speed @ 25,000 ft (Max Range): 205 mph
Cruise speed @ Sea Level (Max Range): 140 mph
Maximum rate of climb: 3800 fpm
Maximum range: 750 miles
Net payload: 750 lbs
Fuel consumption: approx. 20 mpg
Operational ceiling: 32,000 ft
Gross weight: 2400 lbs
Installed engine power: 865 hp
Power boost (emergency): 33%
Dimensions (LxWxH): 21.5' x 8.5' x 7.5'
Takeoff and landing area: 35 ft dia
Noise level at 500 ft: 65 dba (Goal)
Vertical takeoff and landing: yes
Uses automotive gas: yes
Emergency parachutes: yes

Dr. Moller has flown the M400 "a couple of dozen times, very low to the ground" about 40-feet up and a few hundred feet in every direction. He says he's "getting to the point where I'd be comfortable flying four passengers and their cargo around for a longer period."





http://www.huffingtonpost.com/billrobin ... 92345.html

paperburn1
Posts: 2445
Joined: Fri Jun 19, 2009 5:53 am
Location: Third rock from the sun.

Re: Moller's Skycar Is Coming

Postby paperburn1 » Sat Jun 28, 2014 8:46 pm

I have been waiting for this to be true for 20 years, but I think he is just milking the cash cow of our dreams
I am not a nuclear physicist, but play one on the internet.

kurt9
Posts: 561
Joined: Mon Oct 15, 2007 4:14 pm
Location: Portland, Oregon, USA

Re: Moller's Skycar Is Coming

Postby kurt9 » Sun Jun 29, 2014 4:25 pm

Moller got in trouble with the SEC some years ago for claiming to prospective investigators that his "air car" was further along in development and ready to manufacturing when, in fact, it was not. There was an article about him in the Malaysian Straights Times that he was about to build a manufacturing facility near KL. This article was also a load of hype. I don't think Moller is a fraud. He really is trying to develop an air car. However, he seems to be jumping the gun. There are many technical issues to be overcome in the development of these things.

GIThruster
Posts: 4686
Joined: Tue May 25, 2010 8:17 pm

Re: Moller's Skycar Is Coming

Postby GIThruster » Mon Jun 30, 2014 2:38 pm

The main trouble with Moller has always been there is no market for what he's building. It doesn't provide any more utility than a small heli except that it's smaller and a little faster, but its much more dangerous and the downwash is many times more dangerous to anyone on the ground. I've been a fan for ages too, and even own a couple M400 models, but I don't think he's got something here and last I heard the subsidiary (was it Freedom Motors?) still had not brought a single engine to market. It was dabbling in the watercraft field as waterborn applications simplify the cooling issue all ultra-high performance IC engines suffer, but they hadn't even built a single watercraft with the engine. Same trouble as Angel Labs.
"Courage is not just a virtue, but the form of every virtue at the testing point." C. S. Lewis

williatw
Posts: 1828
Joined: Mon Oct 12, 2009 7:15 pm
Location: Ohio

Re: Moller's Skycar Is Coming

Postby williatw » Mon Jun 30, 2014 8:03 pm

GIThruster wrote:The main trouble with Moller has always been there is no market for what he's building. It doesn't provide any more utility than a small heli except that it's smaller and a little faster, but its much more dangerous and the downwash is many times more dangerous to anyone on the ground. I've been a fan for ages too, and even own a couple M400 models, but I don't think he's got something here and last I heard the subsidiary (was it Freedom Motors?) still had not brought a single engine to market. It was dabbling in the watercraft field as waterborn applications simplify the cooling issue all ultra-high performance IC engines suffer, but they hadn't even built a single watercraft with the engine. Same trouble as Angel Labs.



You can supposedly drive it on the road like a car...then take off VTOL (that's the claim) and fly wherever you want, no need for an airport; land anywhere you want. Hard to believe there is no market for it provided it can do as he claims it can do; the sky would be the limit. He claimed at one point he thought it ultimately wouldn't need a pilot's license to operator. He claims to have solved the stability problem with multiple engines and computer controlled stability; obviously can't vouch for the efficacy of any of this. The fact that it hasn't even reached the well tested prototype stage yet however would tend to support your skepticism; one can after all "claim" anything.

GIThruster
Posts: 4686
Joined: Tue May 25, 2010 8:17 pm

Re: Moller's Skycar Is Coming

Postby GIThruster » Tue Jul 01, 2014 4:54 pm

No, that's not even close to true. It is far too wide to drive on the road and the downwash makes it a serious hazard to all those within 50 yards. Remember that Harriers can't be flown over asphalt because the ultra high velocity downwash generated by turbines as opposed to rotorcraft tears asphalt apart and sends it flying at death-dealing velocities. There is no solution to the downwash problem using ultra-high performance engines and small cross sectional lift areas.
"Courage is not just a virtue, but the form of every virtue at the testing point." C. S. Lewis

kunkmiester
Posts: 872
Joined: Thu Mar 12, 2009 3:51 pm
Contact:

Re: Moller's Skycar Is Coming

Postby kunkmiester » Tue Jul 01, 2014 6:22 pm

There has long been a healthy interest in a flying car. This one though, at iirc a million each last I heard, is FAR too expensive to serve the market. It might find a handful of niche uses and maybe even take some of the corporate helicopter and jet market, but who knows if there's enough of a market to support the company.
Evil is evil, no matter how small

williatw
Posts: 1828
Joined: Mon Oct 12, 2009 7:15 pm
Location: Ohio

Re: Moller's Skycar Is Coming

Postby williatw » Tue Jul 01, 2014 6:26 pm

GIThruster wrote:No, that's not even close to true. It is far too wide to drive on the road and the downwash makes it a serious hazard to all those within 50 yards. Remember that Harriers can't be flown over asphalt because the ultra high velocity downwash generated by turbines as opposed to rotorcraft tears asphalt apart and sends it flying at death-dealing velocities. There is no solution to the downwash problem using ultra-high performance engines and small cross sectional lift areas.



I am not disputing you GIT..merely stating what Moller is claiming. From his website:



Roadability (On improved roads) ~ 30 mph ~50 km/h

One of the drawings shows the wings folded....presumably you could drive it that way; on whatever he means by an "improved" road. As for the problem you noted with the ultra high velocity downwash...sounds like you couldn't take-off and land "anywhere" would have to be more selective. On the other hand the weight for the M-400 is listed as only 2400lbs with only a 720hp engine; that I assume is allot less than a Harrier Jet, so presumably the downard blast wouldn't have to be as bad?

Addendum: In the first link posted he lists: Installed engine power: 865 hp
Power boost (emergency): 33%


So quite a bit more than 720hp...still far less than a Harrier Jet I would imagine




http://moller.com/dev/images/pdf/Skycar ... 0Sheet.pdf

GIThruster
Posts: 4686
Joined: Tue May 25, 2010 8:17 pm

Re: Moller's Skycar Is Coming

Postby GIThruster » Tue Jul 01, 2014 7:35 pm

Yes, certainly the blast would not be so bad as with a Harrier. Point is though, this is not a Jetsons' sorta flying car. Most people don't consider downwash when they look at flying contraptions and it's a serious issue. Even the lithe SoloTrek had downwash issues. You can't make it a practice (certified by FAA) to slide into the 35th floor terrace parking slot with your Jetpack if it blows the flower pots onto the neighbor kids 20 floors below.
"Courage is not just a virtue, but the form of every virtue at the testing point." C. S. Lewis

williatw
Posts: 1828
Joined: Mon Oct 12, 2009 7:15 pm
Location: Ohio

Re: Moller's Skycar Is Coming

Postby williatw » Tue Jul 01, 2014 8:16 pm

GIThruster wrote:Yes, certainly the blast would not be so bad as with a Harrier. Point is though, this is not a Jetsons' sorta flying car. Most people don't consider downwash when they look at flying contraptions and it's a serious issue. Even the lithe SoloTrek had downwash issues. You can't make it a practice (certified by FAA) to slide into the 35th floor terrace parking slot with your Jetpack if it blows the flower pots onto the neighbor kids 20 floors below.


The key to its feasibility for a family flying car would be the degree of its "roadability" (as well as the computer stabilized flight control being so good you supposedly wouldn't need a pilot's license to operate it). If you can just drive it from your Home drive way wings folded on the roads get to where ever you think you can safely take off from. The 30mph is a little slow for most roads, probably doable though...but another possibility not mentioned intrigues me. If you can drive 30mph wings folded...you get to an open stretch of road no cars around..unfold your wings and take off partly VTOL partly getting lift from your now outstretched wings; requiring if possible allot less downward blast. Landing would be the inverse of that…just find a spot you can safely set down VTOL, and then drive to your final destination. With sophisticated computer control & navigation before too long your GPS nav would tell which spots in a city (after there were enough of the M-400 sold) it was okay for you to take off/land from

ladajo
Posts: 6204
Joined: Thu Sep 17, 2009 11:18 pm
Location: North East Coast

Re: Moller's Skycar Is Coming

Postby ladajo » Tue Jul 01, 2014 9:20 pm

All this is mute as the Israelis are already starting to build an aircar.

Image
The development of atomic power, though it could confer unimaginable blessings on mankind, is something that is dreaded by the owners of coal mines and oil wells. (Hazlitt)
What I want to do is to look up C. . . . I call him the Forgotten Man. (Sumner)

williatw
Posts: 1828
Joined: Mon Oct 12, 2009 7:15 pm
Location: Ohio

Re: Moller's Skycar Is Coming

Postby williatw » Tue Jul 01, 2014 10:22 pm

williatw wrote:The key to its feasibility for a family flying car would be the degree of its "roadability" (as well as the computer stabilized flight control being so good you supposedly wouldn't need a pilot's license to operate it). If you can just drive it from your Home drive way wings folded on the roads get to where ever you think you can safely take off from.



STREETABLE ISSUES
Ultimately, the Skycar aircraft is designed for use
from existing heliports and new, small “vertiports”
located in urban and suburban areas. In many
cases this will require traveling on surface streets
for short distances, therefore the Skycar has been
designed to allow for use on conventional roads at
low speed (< 30 mph). To accommodate this use,
the maximum folded width of the production
Skycar 400 is 8.5 ft., which meets the Department
of Transportation’s (DOT) size requirement for
highway use.






http://moller.com/dev/images/pdf/Skycar ... ochure.pdf

GIThruster
Posts: 4686
Joined: Tue May 25, 2010 8:17 pm

Re: Moller's Skycar Is Coming

Postby GIThruster » Tue Jul 01, 2014 10:35 pm

Anything there say how fast the exhaust is coming out the engines to push the car 30 mph? If it's like 250mph, doesn't seem much chance to me FAA will ever let them on the street.
"Courage is not just a virtue, but the form of every virtue at the testing point." C. S. Lewis

williatw
Posts: 1828
Joined: Mon Oct 12, 2009 7:15 pm
Location: Ohio

Re: Moller's Skycar Is Coming

Postby williatw » Tue Jul 01, 2014 10:42 pm

GIThruster wrote:Anything there say how fast the exhaust is coming out the engines to push the car 30 mph? If it's like 250mph, doesn't seem much chance to me FAA will ever let them on the street.


Not specifically...however this:


It is anticipated that
ground motive power will be provided through the
wheels.


This suggest that power for movement on the roads will be facilitated not through the propellers/ducted fans but through the wheels directly; if true it should address your concern about 250mph wind blasts on the roads; yeah fat chance otherwise.

williatw
Posts: 1828
Joined: Mon Oct 12, 2009 7:15 pm
Location: Ohio

Re: Moller's Skycar Is Coming

Postby williatw » Wed Jul 02, 2014 2:45 am

kunkmiester wrote:There has long been a healthy interest in a flying car. This one though, at iirc a million each last I heard, is FAR too expensive to serve the market.



It is projected that the Skycar 400 can be sold for
$500,000 at levels of 1,000 units per year. Even at
an initial unit price of $1 million
the Skycar 400 is
still five times less expensive than the V-22 Osprey
in net tons of payload delivered relative to its
acquisition cost.


http://moller.com/dev/images/pdf/Skycar ... ochure.pdf

From a random source I found:

How much does a Helicopter cost?


Summarise

So in conclusion, if you were wondering how much a helicopter does cost, then you are looking at anywhere from USD $250,000 – $1,700,000, depending if you want a little 2 seater or want to go all the way up to a five seater. Obviously there are numerous other factors to consider (training costs, operational costs, storage costs etc), but hopefully you now have a good and realistic idea of what a helicopter does actually cost! Whether you were just curious, or are seriously considering buying one, it’s always a fun bit of trivia to know.


Image
Robinson R-22 Cost – USD $250,000


Image
B206 JetRanger Cost – USD $700,000


Image
EC120 Colibri Hummingbird Cost – USD $1,700,000

http://tomsum.hubpages.com/hub/How-much ... opter-cost

So the cost of 500K to 1 million is well within the cost range of helicopters; and obviously helicopters by the thousands are bought/sold in a private market as well as by military/police/gov. And if it works as advertised, much greater potential utility than a whirlybird.


Return to “General”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 7 guests