Monday, July 23, 2007

The Future is Here Pt.2
The Flying Car

First jetpacks, now this! Moller International has dropped a press release that claims their volantors (vertical take off and landing aircrafts capable of flying in a quick, nimble and agile manner) are going into production and they're ready to accept your money! It comes in three flavors:
  • M200G (pictured above) - $125,000 - Max Speed 75mph, payload 250lbs
  • M200E - $175,000 - Max Speed 125mph, payload 450lbs
  • Firefly 3 - $450,000 - Max Speed 175mph, payload 600lbs

A deposit on any one of those will set you back 5-25% of the total price, depending on how soon you want it. Hit the jump for VIDEO of a flight test and Geekanerd's plea for a test flight interview with Moller General Manager Bruce Calkins.

Geekanerd: Is there already a waiting list for the M200G?

Bruce Calkins: We have a number of people who have put deposits on the M400 who will be given an opportunity to apply this deposit to the M200G. Since we have not yet made this offer to the existing depositors I don't have a firm number, but my guess is that perhaps as many as 50 of these depositors may move over to the M200G list. Our production estimates for the first year are six, with 40 in the next year and 200+ in the third. If 50 people were to jump in line ahead of you, the earliest you could expect delivery is sometime in 2009 if you were to place a deposit for a vehicle in the first tier of the delivery schedule. Please note (see the M200 Deposit Agreement) that there are three tiers corresponding to the level of deposit you wish to make. Tier one is a vehicle from serial number 6 through 40, tier two is for 41 through 250, and tier three is for 251 through 650. The minimum M200G deposit for tier one is $31,250, tier two is $12,500, and tier three is $6,250.

GN: Your site refers to it as a recreational vehicle, so do you see it as a novelty item like a jetski, something people might rent time with at a vacation spot? Or are you trying to pitch the vehicle for practical (transportation, military) uses as well?

BC: While we envision many recreational and practical (agriculture, public safety) uses, we will leave that to the end-user to determine. Once we have demonstrator vehicles, I am certain there will be many very imaginative uses that come to mind.

GN: Your specs say it won't go above 10 feet, but the video on your site [see below, Gnerds!] clearly shows a vehicle going much higher--is the 10ft limit a self-regulation to keep within FAA guidelines?

BC: Yes. We believe that by constraining the vehicle to a height equal to or less than the diameter of the craft that it will not be necessary to identify the vehicle as an aircraft and therefore kept it exempt from requlations that might otherwise apply.

So there you have it, folks. Now for what you really wanted to see, a video of the damn thing in action:

M200X Flight Test



Also worth a look is this hilarious video promoting their Skycar for rescue operations:



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