Company Starts Making Flying Saucers

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Rhino

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California Company Starts Making Flying Saucers
Thursday, August 02, 2007



A flying saucer that glides 10 feet off the ground and carries two passengers has gone into commercial production.

Moller International, based in Davis, Calif., has begun to manufacture parts for its Jetsons-like personal flying pod, the M200G Volantor.

The M200G is the size of a small car and is designed to take off and land vertically.

Company founder Paul Moller, in a press release, called the craft "the ultimate off-road vehicle" as it is able to travel over any surface....
http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,291889,00.html
 

orion

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I recently met a gentleman who was down at Davis when this craft was demonstrated - he said it was cool but amazingly loud (notice their video has musinc, not the actual soundtrack). Given that many areas in our vicinity have banned jet-skis due to the annoying noise, it is unlikely that this would be greeted with too much enthusiasm. But yes, I want one!!!
 

Dana

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Moller's at it again, huh? Real Soon Now...

-Dana

Name one nice thing about Windows? It doesn't just crash, it displays a dialog box and lets you press 'OK' first.
 

Raptor

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Saw the first video, don't want to wade through all the rest, are there ANY flights that are un-tethered.
I would think that would be a significant milestone, if you want to sell the things....

Paul
 

Peter V

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What happened to their flying car? Now that was cool. Anyone find specs for the saucer? With 8 rotaries it must have a flight time of 15 minutes.:lick:
 

Topaz

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This is the same vehicle he was flying (tethered) back in the 'seventies. I remember a photo taken then of the aircraft on the ground with a appropriately 'hip' couple sitting in the cockpit.

Seems like exactly the same aircraft as that old one. Maybe he needs to keep the money flowing and has trotted this out as a 'quickly marketable' product to make that happen.
 
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corbenpilot

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Dear Topaz,

I too remember this vehicle from back in the 70's. I have bok on aircraft on it when it was called, of all things the "disco Jet". I can never see a photo of that thing without thinking of John Travolta or the Bee Gees! Ha! Just as flashy!

I too have yet to see a video of this machine out of tether. I would imagine that a vehicle of that configuration would have serious stability problems. I wonder how the problem has been (or will be) addressed. It would make for an interesting read to know how such a machine would be corrrected for an out of level situation.
 

Greg Mueller

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If that's the same guy that i think it is, he was based in Arlington for a while. He probably moved because he had bilked all the machine shops in the area out of their labor and materials. I was one of them, but managed to get my money by embarrassing one of his staff at the Fly In. That guy has more "investors" after him than you can imagine. He was pretty "famous" around the airport after a while.

"Flying Cars"
Can you imagine? After seeing how the idiots drive on the freeway and city streets in two dimensions, can you imagine what they would do in three dimensions with no white lines to try to confine them?
 

orion

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The guy in Arlington went to prison for fraud, misappropriation of government funds, illegal investment scams and a slew of other illegal activities.

Moller is located in Davis, Ca. and all the work he's done has as far as I know been done on his own nickel. I've spoken to him on a number of occasions - he's quite sharp and very knowledgeable about the fields he is working in. But what he's trying to do is difficult at best so progress has certainly been slow, with interesting little side projects along the way. I don't know if he'll ever succeed in developing the Skycar fully to the level he'd like to see but the work I've seen has been sound. I really like the little rotary engines they developed.
 

Dana

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...Moller is located in Davis, Ca. and all the work he's done has as far as I know been done on his own nickel...
Are you kidding? Moller's been bilking investors, and taking deposits, for years, always with the Skycar coming Real Soon Now. In 2003, the SEC filed a civil fraud action against Paul S. Moller and Moller International, Inc.

Every few years the news media "discovers" Moller when things are slow, and they run a gee-whiz bit about him and his "car of the future".

-Dana

They say that people who don't read history are condemmed to repeat it.
Unfortunately, people who DO read history are condemned to watch it replayed by people who DON'T read history.
 

orion

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Well, compared to the crook that used to be in Arlington, this is relatively minor, even though based on the actual filing, it certainly was justified. Thanks for the update Dana - I was not aware of the case.

But in the same breath I must say that a $50k fine on five million dollars of invested moneys is a pretty minor slap on the wrist - something that might almost fall under a paperwork technicality heading rather than being an outright criminal case, especially given the fact that the settlement included MI being allowed to file all the necessary paperwork to fall into compliance.

Unlike the individual that used to be located here in the Northwest, Moller International is a real company that has operated in a commercial manner for decades without any public investment. They have a successful track record of private and government contracts, all of which lends them at least a modicum of credibility.

Most new technology investment scenarios often do involve a substantial amount of risk, and most associated offerings are generally based on an over-promoted or over-stated analysis of the company's technology or product line anyway (this shouldn't be a surprise to anyone who's paid attention to the Experimental market for at least a few years). Most offerings of this type though usually come with at least a small print disclaimer that outlines the risks of investing with a company or product line that does not have a functional prototype. And of course even a functional prototype is no guarantee of success.

Personally, I don't think I'd be willing to ride in a vehicle that had no wings and needed eight engines to keep it in the air. My own analysis of the Skycar is that I'd give it maybe a one in fifty chance of success.
 

Greg Mueller

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If it's not the same guy then I apologize for my confusion. The thing is, that I did see that guy from Arlington on one of those amazing/discovery/learning channels on the satellite just a few weeks back. He had the same little red "flying car".
 

orion

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The little red car and the flying saucer thing is from the same company, which is Moller International - but that's not the same outfit that was operating in Arlington.

Although the Arlington company was also claiming a "proprietary" development for shrouded lift fan technology (including a flying car), no-one in the company knew how to design them, nor apparently anything else about engineering. The owner of that company was a high school science teacher but had no verifiable degree in anything. Later it was discovered that even his teaching accreditation was also based on false or incomplete documentation.

If I recall right, Dr. Moller has a PhD in aeronautics and I think one or two other disciplines. The guy in Arlington had no verifiable education, experience or applicable background.

The Arlington company was shut down by a Navy investigation when it was discovered that the contract money the owner was awarded was spent on a horse ranch instead on the vertical lift UAV that was supposed to be being developed. The Navy audit team then notified other investigative agencies when improper documentation was discovered regarding the company's solicitation for investors (they were literally stealing old folks retirement savings).

If I recall right the Arlington outfit was shut down more than ten years ago and the owner was put away for quite a few years. I don't' recall how many though because the number of charges against him led to at least three different fraud and theft trials.
 

corbenpilot

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As Greg Mueller said:

"Flying Cars"
Can you imagine? After seeing how the idiots drive on the freeway and city streets in two dimensions, can you imagine what they would do in three dimensions with no white lines to try to confine them?

AMEN to that comment! I have a commercial drivers license and with all the time I put on the road and what I've experienced Greg brings up a good point! With all the blithering idiots out there chatting on cell phones behind the wheel of the vehicle they're not driving it would make for some spectacular "incidents" should they become airborne. This would be especially interesting given the violent, agressive attitude of the "ME FIRST" people that I encounter daily.

Makes me shudder to think of the carnage that would result from these same brainless masses becoming aloft. Noone would be safe! Not to mention what the heavens would sound like when they install "Boom Boxes" in those things!

Just think of how drive-by shootings would turn out!

Well said Greg!
 

BBerson

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Mollers flying saucer is not a flying car. It is a hovercraft. Looks like Moller is setting his goals a little lower.
That must be the worlds most inefficient single seat hovercraft with 8 engines turning high disc loading fans.

Looks cute!
 
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