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Thursday, December 06, 2007

It is the 21st Century! So where is my promised flying car?

Where are the flying cars?![vid1] They promised me flying cars! [vid2] I don't see flying cars. Why? Why!?”

Moller International, Inc. may not be providing flying skycars [vid] for the 21st Century but it will not be because they did not try after over $200-million [vid]. The Davis, California-based firm, lead by Dr. Paul Moller [vid], has recently filed notice with the Securties and Exchange Commission [PDF] noting that it has run up more than $40.5 million in accumulated deficits and is concerned whether it will have enough money to continue development [vid] of its vertical-takeoff and landing Skycar and its Rotapower engines [vid].

Moller has been inventing and developing Skycars since 1962, when he built the first prototype for a VTOL vehicle, named the XM-2 Skycar. The M400 Skycar [vid] is the latest in a series of innovative Skycars developed by his company. A previous model is the two-passenger M200X Skycar [vid], which has successfully completed over 200 test flights since 1989.

An alternative vehicle may be on the 2009 horizon known as the PALV Europe BV (Personal Air and Land Vehicle) or autogyro-copter. The PALV is a concept vehicle designed to solve the increasing congestion on our highways. John Bakker, a Dutch entrepreneur, is developing the PALV.

On the ground, the slimline, aerodynamic 3-wheel vehicle is as comfortable as a car, yet has the agility of a motorbike, thanks to its patented cutting-edge 'tilting' system. The single rotor and propeller are folded away until the PALV is ready to fly. Once airborne, the PALV flies under the 4,000 feet floor of commercial air space.

Then there is Rafi Yoeli, the Israeli conceptualist behind the X-Hawk urban rescue vehicle. The Urban Aeronautics [vid] vehicle is estimated to cost $1.5 million and be available in 2010.

Oh well, George Jetson NOT [vid] but perhaps some time this century! [PPT]

And, this Onion link [vid] from a reader! :-)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Bad news. Here's the story you're looking for on the flying cars: