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The Skycar 400 by Moller International

Most of us are familiar with the idea of autonomous vehicles, but a flying autonomous car? The Skycar 400, developed by Dr. Paul Moller, is a high-speed four passenger VTOL (vertical take-off and landing) aircraft. Founded by Moller in 1983, Moller International has been producing the technologies necessary for the Skycar, which combines the high-speed capabilities of a wing aircraft and can take off and land vertically like a helicopter. Here are some intriguing facts about this amazing invention from  Pacific Elite Collision Centers Downey West .

Based in Dixon, California, the company has spent more than $100 million in research and development on this aircraft of the future. Many prototypes have been flown over the years and the Skycar 400 is the fifth generation VTOL AutoBody-Review the skycar 400 by Moller International aircraft. It is currently in an “operational prototype” stage.

The Skycar 400 was designed to be easy to operate, using fly-by-wire computer technology that the company said will monitor, control and ensure stability of the aircraft.

The idea is that the Skycar would travel on roadways at low speeds (less than 30 mph) to get to “veriports” set up for take-off.

By using onboard scanning and positioning systems, and automated air traffic control, the Skycar is expected to be an autonomous aircraft. Projections are that it will be able to reach a maximum speed at sea level of 331 mph, a cruise speed of 308 mph at 20,000 feet, and have a range of 805 miles at 131 mph.

Some anticipate the Skycar will initially be used by the military and Moller International is currently working with the FAA to obtain classification as a powered-lift aircraft.  

Some of its unique features include:

Environment

A multiple ducted fan on the Skycar was designed to generate low fan noise, which is necessary for aircraft to operate in noise sensitive areas.

Performance

With a top speed three times faster than a light helicopter, the Skycar is being designed to be less restrictive than a helicopter and airplane when it comes to performance, according to its developers.

Safety

Numerous safety features were designed to be incorporated including multiple engines and computers, an emergency airframe parachute, redundant fuel monitoring and the ability to land almost anywhere.

There is no telling when we might see this aircraft rolling down the street in  Downey ,  CA  or overhead but if they get off the ground, it will certainly be exciting to see. In the meantime, you might be able to purchase one of the limited model Skycars built to 1/38th scale.

Sources: Wikipedia, SEMA News and Forbes

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