Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Christmas Cheer Toys Technology

Neiman Marcus Offers First Moller Skycar For Sale 311

Posted by Zonk
from the as-seen-in-mythbusters dept.
It doesn't come easy writes "Neiman Marcus has just unveiled its 2005 Christmas Catalog of Fantasy Gifts last Tuesday, and one of the items up for purchase is the prototype M400 Skycar from Moller International (for only $3.5 million US). If you've ever dreamed of owning a Skycar, this may be your only chance." From the Skycar site: "Can any automobile give you this scenario? From your garage to your destination, the M400 Skycar can cruise comfortably at 350+ MPH and achieve up to 28 miles per gallon. No traffic, no red lights, no speeding tickets. Just quiet direct transportation from point A to point B in a fraction of the time. Three dimensional mobility in place of two dimensional immobility. No matter how you look at it the automobile is only an interim step on our evolutionary path to independence from gravity. That's all it will ever be. "
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Neiman Marcus Offers First Moller Skycar For Sale

Comments Filter:
  • it's a ringer (Score:3, Interesting)

    by DragonTHC (208439) <Dragon@gamerAUDE ... l.com minus poet> on Saturday October 01, 2005 @02:49AM (#13691999) Homepage Journal
    looks like the US NAVY's skycar prototypes from the 1960's
    • Is it just me or is Neiman Marcus only famous for the cookie recipe urban myth [snopes.com] that has been doing the rounds in various forms since the beginning of time? OK, so I'm from Sydney, Australia, but I've never heard of the company in any other context before this story.
      • Neiman marcus is a high end department store in the us, sometimes referred to as Needluss Markup for their high prices (but excellent service). Every year in their christmas catalog they have one really crazy thing that you can buy- a tropical island, a learjet, matching his/hers humanoid robots, etc...
  • Nice. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Tavor (845700) on Saturday October 01, 2005 @02:50AM (#13692002)
    But did it ever win it's FAA cert?
    • Re:Nice. (Score:5, Interesting)

      by ldspartan (14035) on Saturday October 01, 2005 @02:56AM (#13692024) Homepage
      Not even a little. As far as I know, that particular model has never flown untethered.

      Moller's been talking about Skycars as long as I've been alive. As far as I know, its always been "less than five years away" for the past 20 or so. He also really likes talking about his "highway in the sky", which is essentially... run of the mill avionics.

      And really, given the number of accidents on the highway-on-the-ground where folks only have to worry about two dimensions, I'm glad he's been a failure thus far. At least accidents on the highway don't usually come flying into my house.

      --
      lds
      • Re:Nice. (Score:5, Interesting)

        by Concerned Onlooker (473481) on Saturday October 01, 2005 @03:27AM (#13692097) Homepage Journal
        And really, given the number of accidents on the highway-on-the-ground where folks only have to worry about two dimensions, I'm glad he's been a failure thus far.

        On the other hand, if people had to go through as much training to get a driver's license as they do a pilot's license the roads would probably be a better place.

        I was certified to fly gliders only after many hours of instruction that included emergency situations as well as learning how to give myself large safety margins. Just the thinking process of getting my pilot's license caused me to really evaluate my driving habits as well.

        As long as the license to fly a Skycar didn't end up being some sort of quickie certification you might not see as many problems as you think. Most of the truly boneheaded won't make it far enough to get the license to fly. Then again, I had some great instruction from people who loved to fly and weren't just putting in their 9 to 5 time.

        • by thrill12 (711899) * on Saturday October 01, 2005 @05:44AM (#13692356) Journal
          ..most people can't ever fly a car without some serious artificial intelligence built-in. I myself took quite a while for my drivers-licence in the Netherlands, were they do have very high standards + high costs for getting a licence.
          I am not pilot-stuff, so most likely am not really any good for a flying car, except as already stated - parked in someone else's home...

          Instead of focussing on the technology to get a car flying, why not focus on the technology to control an object safely in 3D, with hazard-avoidance built-in ? And while your at it, spend a little more time on the flying-technology itself and use hydrogen as a fuel-source: 'two flies in one swat'.

          • Countries like the Netherlands, Garmany and to a lesser extent the UK, aren't really raising standards by having relatively more difficult driving education and tests. They are trying to ration access to driving. However, with rationing, the price of all aspects is artificially raised.

            In the US, driving is cheap, and the driving test, at least here in Texas is really quite easy to pass. Hence generally lower cost.

            The real kicker is that the accident rate is not significantly reduced by controlling assholes.
            • Your theory doesn't tally with the facts.

              In the UK at least, the number of road fatalities has been falling every year for more then 60 years. This despite the fact that the number of cars has been increasing. Now of course some of this will be explained by better technology, brakes, street lightling etc. But part of it is rising standards in what it takes to get a license. At one time, training and license used to last about 5 minutes, simply describing what each of the controls do. Occasionally you s
              • by Firethorn (177587) on Saturday October 01, 2005 @10:53AM (#13693202) Homepage Journal
                Neither in yours, give that it's been falling in the USA for the same period
                Reference: [about.com] All told, 42,636 people died on the nation's highways in 2004, down from 42,884 in 2003. The fatality rate per 100 million vehicle miles traveled (VMT) was 1.46 in 2004, down from 1.48 in 2003. The fatality rate has been steadily improving since 1966 when 50,894 people died and the rate was 5.5.

                Overall deaths can actually go up while having the VMR and per 100,000 rates go down because the USA, more so than Europe, is still increasing in population.
        • Re:Nice. (Score:5, Informative)

          by Keruo (771880) on Saturday October 01, 2005 @06:08AM (#13692388)
          > On the other hand, if people had to go through as much training to get a driver's license as they do a pilot's license the roads would probably be a better place.

          > I was certified to fly gliders only after many hours of instruction that included emergency situations as well as learning how to give myself large safety margins. Just the thinking process of getting my pilot's license caused me to really evaluate my driving habits as well.

          How long does it take to get a drivers license in US, and how expensive it is?

          Here in Finland, if you're 18 or older, you can get a license. The process is split in two phases, first phase consists of 10 x 1,5 hours of theory and 10 x 1h driving lessons.
          Then there's written exam including traffic situation pictures, and finally driving test. If you pass both tests, you get temporary license which is valid for 1-2 years.
          (don't recall if the hours are accurate, I've had my drivers license for several years now)

          If you manage to drive 1-2 years without too many mistakes (3-strike system, if you fail, you have to do first phase again) you can start second phase.
          In second phase, you have few more theory hours, 5 or so, mostly about driving in dark and on slippery surfaces. Some of the theory also focuses on driving more economically. There's practice run on slippery surface track and basically training for driving on icy surfaces. After completing the second phase, you receive your final drivers license which is valid until you turn 70. After that age, you need to take medical and with doctors approval, the license can be extended.

          The whole thing costs about $1200-2000, depending on the driving school, more if you fail any of the tests.
          • To add to the previous response, a lot of states have 15 1/2 as the age at which you can get a learner's permit, then 16 to get a driver's license - to get your license before age 18, you have to have passed a driver's education course (usually through your high school). After age 18, you don't even need that. Then you have to pass the (simple - half an hour's study will do it) written test, and take a driving test. Unless you take it when there's ice on the road, you don't have to demonstrate any partic

            • License is then good for 4 years, renewal generally is just an eye test ("No, dear, are you sure that's an 8? Doesn't it look more like an S? It's an S? That's RIGHT! Good, you pass!")
              Heh. They weren't that leinient with me when I did my eye test. My right eye is just bad enough that I can't read things that are a moderate distance away if my left eye is closed - a very slight fuzziness.

              It's the only reason I wear glasses.
          • $25 to $35 and an afternoon of skimming a pamphelt, taking a written test, and doing some very basic driving in town will get you driving legally for 4-5 years if you're over 18. If you're 16 to 18, some tates are doing a "you can only drive during daylight, maybe with a limit on the number of passengers in the car" thing, some ar not.

            The US does have some "performance driving schools", like, two or three, which have courses along the lines of "advanced street driving" to "driving small Formula cars". It
          • Re:Nice. (Score:3, Informative)

            by tyler_larson (558763)
            How long does it take to get a drivers license in US, and how expensive it is?

            The requirements vary by locality, and are getting more restrictive as time goes by. However, when I got my driver's licence, I only had to pass the written test and the "drive arount the block with a DMV guy" practical test. Total cost was negligable. Total experience required was laughable.

            Note that making license acquisition even moderately expensive or difficult is a very politally-charged proposition. Leftists tend to ar

        • Re:Nice. (Score:2, Insightful)

          by Vexar (664860)
          For reference, Moller's been trying to get around this whole accident thing by having his little Jetsonesque sky hoppers entirely computer-piloted, so that the craft are driver-less. This, unfortunately, reminds me of the "Johnny-Car" vehicles in Total Recall. My Dad knew this guy 30 years ago, in graduate school at UC Davis. He said Moller's on what is known as white-collar welfare, or government research/private investor dollars for the scientists who refuse to work in the real world. I point to the V
      • by jcr (53032)
        And really, given the number of accidents on the highway-on-the-ground where folks only have to worry about two dimensions

        This is actually the strongest argument for going to aircars. Today, we funnel traffic into very narrow passages, where vehicles pass each other in opposite directions at very high speed, with nothing more than a few feet of separation and a couple of painted lines to prevent head-on collisions. The FAA considers it a near-collision when two aircraft pass within a thousand feet of each
      • You have no idea what you're talking about, so please don't post about aviation. The 'highway in the sky' is a concept that has been bouncing around NASA for quite a while, and involves nothing more than the presentation of existing navigational routes to the pilot in an intuitive way, as if s/he were flying on a virtual highway. In no way does it imply there will be aircraft flying in close proximity. The same rules and conventions separating aircraft would apply. Furthermore, one facet of the proposal is
    • by cometman (688838) on Saturday October 01, 2005 @03:00AM (#13692035)
      The Moller FAQ page says they expect it within 4 years.
  • I hope it has a good early-warning fuel gauge system so you don't plummet out of the sky when gas runs out!

    Any hybrids coming?

    • Re:Fuel gauge? (Score:3, Interesting)

      by MichaelSmith (789609)
      I hope it has a good early-warning fuel gauge system so you don't plummet out of the sky when gas runs out!

      According to TFA it has both a fuel warning system and two ballistic parachutes.

      • According to TFA it has both a fuel warning system and two ballistic parachutes.

        Oh, _that_ will make me feel better when several thousand pounds of machine + personage come crashing through my roof. At least the car might survive the fall.
    • Re:Fuel gauge? (Score:2, Interesting)

      by volfro (915297)
      Nah, no hybrids, I bet. His are rotary engines built to run off of pretty much anything--including alcohol and biofuel. I remember reading a Time Life thing about him in the eighties that said the engine could run off of peanut oil. And on the site, it mentions the idea of running off of vegetable oil with small conversion efforts.

      So that means low to no emissions there. Supposedly.

  • by BrynM (217883) * on Saturday October 01, 2005 @02:52AM (#13692011) Homepage Journal
    Imagine going to DMV for that...

    Lucky-*ucker: Hi, I'd like to register my Moller Sky Car.
    DMV drone: What year is your Buick Skylark?
    Lucky-*ucker: No, my sky car. Sky CAR!

    I can see the look on the driving tester's face at license renewal. $3.5 mil and flying, it gives new meaning to "Tax and Licensing".

  • What does this say about the status of the project? Given up? Or ready to go with manufacturing new ones?

    --
    Use your bluetooth phone as a modem for Linux [arpx.net]
    • by BrynM (217883) *
      What does this say about the status of the project? Given up? Or ready to go with manufacturing new ones?
      From TFA "Only 75 Neiman Marcus Special Editions will be produced and delivered in 2006." I was expecting a couple of prototypes, but 75! I'd say they're going onward full bore.
  • by Mustang Matt (133426) on Saturday October 01, 2005 @02:56AM (#13692023)
    I'd donate a spot in my garage and you guys can come take it for a spin any time you're in town. :)
  • Finished product? (Score:5, Informative)

    by Lisandro (799651) on Saturday October 01, 2005 @02:57AM (#13692026)
    This car has been on an "almost ready for production" state since i have memory - i recall reading on Popular Science about it and how it would revolutionize transport when i was a kid! So, are they selling these days? The site's a bit vague about this... and the one mentioned in the article is a prototype - a working prototype, yes, but still.
    • by Nick Driver (238034) on Saturday October 01, 2005 @10:55AM (#13693215)
      The Moller Skycar will NEVER be able to fly the way he claims. First of all it's a purely vectored-thrust, powered-lift machine. All flying machines of this type are inherently unstable as hell. If any component in its controls or thrust systems fails, the machine will be wildly uncontrollable. Think bottle-rocket with the stick removed... wild unpredictable flight path... firey crashing death to any occupants of the vehicle. These kind of flying machines are very difficult to keep under control and are also *extremely* fuel-hungry. Look at the size of the Skycar, how much fuel tank capacity do you think it has. Not much? You're right. How many engines will the M400 have? EIGHT 150hp dual-rotor wankels. You know how much gasoline a 150hp engine uses? About 7.5 gallons per hour if you lean the mixture to the point where it barely runs, and of course is not putting out the full 150hp at that point. At full 150hp 100% output, such an engine will burn about 11 gallons per hour. At low altitudes, you'll need full power from all eight engines to keep the thing in the air since all the thrust will be doing the duty of lift vector. That's almost 90 gallons per hour fuel burn at full power! FAA regs say that an aircraft cannot even take off for daytime VFR flight without enough fuel to complete the flight plus a 1/2 hour reserve. Moller is now saying that he expects to run the engines on alcohol instead of gas. Well, any high school kid who has just begin to learn about engines and fuels can tell you that it takes almost 2 gallons of alcohol to do the work of 1 gallon of gasoline in an internal combustion engine. I call shenanigans on this machine. Anybody who thinks this is a viable flying machine is smoking crack.

      Moller should've just stuck to making SuperTrapp mufflers for motorcycles, at least that is a successful design that works quite well. Or work some more on that wankel engine to finish getting it up to snuff for small conventional airplanes. If they could get that 150hp dual-rotor wankel to have at least a 1500 hour TBO and equipped with a planetary gear reduction drive to keep the prop at about 2700-2800 max rpm at full power, they could sell a lot of these engines to the experimental airplane homebuilders, and perhaps a de-rated 100-120hp version to the Light Sport aircraft makers That's where the real money could be.
  • by rmull (26174)
    Gravity is a harsh mistress.
  • Videos are slashdotted, a torrent of all the video's would be very welcomed.

    Thank You.
  • by TheAdventurer (779556) on Saturday October 01, 2005 @03:11AM (#13692060)
    Forget Sky Cars. My dad works at a company that makes Sky Buses. And you can ride anywhere in the USA for less than a thousand dollars. These Sky Buses have comfortable seating, attendants who give you food and spill drinks on you, and even a little TV you can watch with headphones.

    Yep, Boeing makes these awesome Sky Buses with wheels and everything.
    • by Greyfox (87712)
      If you're a midget or an amputee maybe. The rest of us will be rubbing our hip bones against the arm rests unless we spring for first class. Admittedly the price of a skycar will cover a LOT of first class tickets but you still have to deal with airport security and the "random" cavity searches. Not to mention getting around once you reach your destination and the danger of your carrier going bankrupt while you're at your destination. Even if you had to pilot the SkyCar with a joystick that went up your ass
    • Yep, Boeing makes these awesome Sky Buses with wheels and everything.

      I don't want an aeroplane. I want a flying car to park beside my horseless carriage.

    • Boeing makes these awesome Sky Buses with wheels and everything.

      Yeah, they're great if I want to go to London or Singapore, but not terribly practical if I just want to go from Cupertino to Santa Cruz. That's about an hour in the car, on a very dangerous, crowded mountain road and it would be more like 15 minutes in the air.

      -jcr
    • But if you take it to your office, you might have a few problems [google.com].
  • Anyone know where I can go and kick the propellers on one of these? ;)
    • Anyone know where I can go and kick the propellers on one of these?

      Davis, California. Near Sacramento.

      -jcr
  • by Krid(O'Caign) (766854) on Saturday October 01, 2005 @03:22AM (#13692081)
    It's unquestionably a heavier than air vehicle (Especially when full of people), so it can't generate lift from density differences. It doesn't have any significant wingspan, which means that it can't use bernoulli's principal to generate lift. Therefore, the only reasonable remaining possibility is that it must be creating a downward thrust equal to the mass*gravity of the vehicle. That's very, very bad for gas mileage, making the "28mpg" claim more than a little dubious. In theory, strapping four engines with those claimed power/consumption ratios to a compact car with no standard engine and the wheels in neutral should generate highway speeds at vastly higher MPG ratings.
    • by ezweave (584517) on Saturday October 01, 2005 @03:48AM (#13692143) Homepage

      Yeah, many people have thought that the skycar has been an investment scam, and it probably is. Hey the SEC thinks so! [sec.gov]

      Although I see that Bernoulli's principle strikes again! Alas, that is not really what generates lift (my modern Physics professor in college used to teach at the Air Force Academy and said they still teach that to pilots... ghastly). While there is a Bernoulli effect that influences lift, there is an assumption and crude explanation (hey the air flows above and below the wing have to meet up).

      Many readers new to this topic may be looking for the explanation that is commonly put forward in many mainstream books, and even scientific exhibitions, that touch on flight and aerodynamic principles; namely, that due to the greater curvature (and hence longer path) of the upper surface of an aerofoil, the air going over the top must go faster in order to "catch up" with the air flowing around the bottom (and hence due to its faster speed its pressure is lower, etc). Despite the fact that this "explanation" is probably the most common of all, it must be made clear that it is utterly false.
      here [wikipedia.org]

      Of course Bernoulli was a natural philosopher which explains why this was easily accepted (thanks Neal Stephenson, for fictionalizing that part of history).

      Scientific arguments aside, the Moller sky car [wikipedia.org] graced the pages of Popular Mechanics and Popular Science when I was a kid. No one in their right mind would buy it, it is a silly impractical (not to mention unsafe) idea. Do you know how much work it takes to get a pilot's license? Or instrument rated? Time and $$$$. That is why it is a dumb idea. But hey, rich old men can dream, can't they?

      • Do you know how much work it takes to get a pilot's license? Or instrument rated? Time and $$$$.

        wouldnt rich old men have both of those?
      • Do you know how much work it takes to get a pilot's license? Or instrument rated? Time and $$$$. That is why it is a dumb idea. Dude, it's cheaper than buying a smallbiz jet + small helicopter and paying for aircrews for them both. This thing claims to go quite a bit faster than the typical helo, and besides helicopters there aren't a whole lot of options for civilian VTOL. To get 300+ MPH flight and VTOL the price of training will be the least of your worries. Think about what you'll be saving when you do
      • There were eight Bernoullis. and the bernoulli 'effect' is physically real. It doesn't say anything about catching up or whatnot. It is simply that the energy in a streamline is constant at any point in that streamline. This whole catching up thing sounds a like high school physics text 'virus' to me.

        You can produce lift simply from a curved wing design provided there isn't 'boundary layer separation.' So IF the streamlines meet again after the wing, you can calculate how much lift this would provide.
    • It's unquestionably a heavier than air vehicle (Especially when full of people), so it can't generate lift from density differences. It doesn't have any significant wingspan, which means that it can't use bernoulli's principal to generate lift. Therefore, the only reasonable remaining possibility is that it must be creating a downward thrust equal to the mass*gravity of the vehicle. That's very, very bad for gas mileage, making the "28mpg" claim more than a little dubious. In theory, strapping four engines
      • by Alioth (221270) <no@spam> on Saturday October 01, 2005 @07:54AM (#13692601) Journal
        An inverted plane (with a normal non-symmetric airfoil) flies upside down (badly) due to the angle of attack. The air flowing over the 'top' (now bottom of the wing) still goes faster than the air 'underneath'. In fact, the air never goes faster 'to catch up with the air underneath' - the air flow over the wing is MUCH faster than underneath (where it tends to slow a little). A wind tunnel can demonstrate this quite ably.

        But it's a fallacy to say that x% of lift is caused by Bernouilli's laws (which predict the pressures very accurately) or the Coanda effect or... and y% is provided by Newton's equal and opposite reaction - it's not cumulative. 100% of lift can be explained by pressure differential, and 100% of lift can be explained by Newton's theories. They are just different ways of looking at the same thing.
    • Ducted fans (Score:4, Interesting)

      by XNormal (8617) on Saturday October 01, 2005 @04:16AM (#13692191) Homepage
      During forward flight the vehicle generates a significant part of its lift using airfoils. These airfoils are small, but at cruising speed they are up to the task. Remember that normal aircraft use wings sized for low-speed takeoff and landing, not for cruising speed. Low-speed hovering will naturally consume much more fuel but it's only for a short time at takeoff and landing.

      Ducted fan vehicles are feasible and should theoretically be capable of doing all Dr Moller claims they can do. It's a different question whether Moller's company can achieve it. People tend to become skeptical after decades of of promises...
      • The interference drag on Moller's airframe would be a nightmare though. I bet it's a lot draggier than the equivalent sized regular airplane.

        His Wankel engines are not even remotely capable of reaching the BSFC that would be required to get the claimed economy. Wankel engines are actually fairly inefficient (although smooth running). The Moller Skycar is a fiction that he's been claiming would be ready in 5 years for decades now.
    • The claim is that at high speeds, the amount of aerodynamic lift from the body of the car is enough to keep it up, which is probably true. Still, a very inefficient airfoil, extremely low aspect ratio.

  • I'd be happy with $1.5 million! (But I'd love the skycar too...)
  • by OwP_Fabricated (717195) <fabricated&gmail,com> on Saturday October 01, 2005 @03:28AM (#13692099) Homepage
    Well, never in terms of our lifetimes and probably a couple more lifetimes after that.

    For flying cars to ever work you'd need insane amounts of safety systems for every kind of failure. We're talking backup systems for the backup systems that backup the backup systems.

    You'd also need central traffic network computers to control them, because there's no way in hell the vast majority of the population could fly something at 100MPH with any safety. You think a fender bender is bad? Wait until it also makes you fall 200 feet out of the sky.

    And don't try to imagine the death and devestation the first time the traffic system fails (insert "lol crash" jokes here).

    Of course, anyone can figure all this out pretty easily. I'm being over-critical.
    • had you taken the time to check out the web-site you may have read that there are 3 back-up electronics systems and 8 engines (2 per propellor). Any one could fail and the craft would still be able to fly and land safely (according to the web-site). I think if we could convert the lexus' detection system that slows the car down or speeds it up to compensate for traffic when cruise control is engaged, only for collision detection, this thing might be relatively idiot proof.
  • You can get your own personal submarine for only $845,000 [alaska-freegold.com]

    Might be handy with the melting ice and all.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday October 01, 2005 @03:33AM (#13692113)
    http://www.moller.com/news/pressrelease/SkycarInNM arcus2005.html [moller.com]

    We have offered the prototype "for sale" in the catalog for $3.5 million on the condition that it be delivered after its inaugural piloted test flight scheduled for later this year or early 2006. Well, except that he notes elsewhere they really are "working towards" that day, and have NFI when it will actually happen.

    Yep, it's "for sale"! Oh, but not the one in the photo! That's the shiny production version see.

    You get the far uglier testing one shown here...

    http://www.moller.com/skycar/ [moller.com] ... after they've finished with it. So the used up and probably modified-badly-between-tests, not-legal-to-fly, hopefully-not-crashed, uglier, prototype is your "for sale" "when it's done" (and we all know how well that's worked for Nukem Forever). For ONLY $3.5 million!

    Yes, typical Muller all the way! What a visionary!
  • ...Don't let friends fly drunk.
  • Neiman Marcus has just unveiled its 2005 Christmas Catalog of Fantasy Gifts last Tuesday

    Hmmmm... any magic kingdoms for $1mil in there?
    • Re:cool (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Anitra (99093)
      Glad to see I wasn't the only one who thought that...

      But then again, isn't the SkyCar as much a work of fiction as Brooks' Kingdom of Landover?
  • Do you get free cookies with it, or maybe even the recipe? ;)
  • "No matter how you look at it the automobile is only an interim step on our evolutionary path to independence from gravity."

    This implies that the car is a step better than walking in handling gravity. Unfortunately the average car is only pretty good at plummeting. The author would be better off staying away from Dukes of Hazard series and movies in my opinion.
  • but.... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by plonk420 (750939) on Saturday October 01, 2005 @04:35AM (#13692232)
    but we [imsproductions.com] made a cooler commercial [imsproductions.com] glorious *cough* (but streamable) quicktime [imsproductions.com] or window$ media video [imsproductions.com]
    • Thats cool and all, but a jet (even a personal jet) is still not the same as a flying car.

      Anti-grav researchers need to get off their duffs and get us some sweet hovercars! Cmon, just 10 years til 2015!
  • Does anyone read (Score:5, Informative)

    by bad_bwoy (919423) on Saturday October 01, 2005 @04:42AM (#13692242)
    All these questions were answered in the provided link. Just go to the FAQ section.

    4.22. How can I obtain a video of the M400 Skycar?

    Since the M400 has not yet been flown, we do not have available video footage. You can however, obtain a Media Kit which includes a compilation video of interviews with Dr. Moller, a BETA master of our most recent flight test featuring the M200X (1990) and informational brochures on Skycar and Rotapower Engines for $50 plus shipping. Please see our Sales page to order.

    4.21. Will I need a license to pilot an M400 Skycar?

    Currently the Skycar is categorized as a "powered-lift normal" aircraft by the FAA. This means that, yes, you will require a "powered-lift normal" category pilot's license to operate a Skycar. However, it is our intention that the volantor will eventually evolve into a completely automated form of transportation making you a passenger - not a pilot/driver. At that point, no pilot's license would be required as long as you operate within this control network.

  • Way to go! Neiman Marcus /.ed
    Opening Catalog...Opening Catalog...
  • Hello to everyone is slashdot, this is my first post. I just wonder will society ever be ready for forms of technology that require more than "point and click". I mean these days, with all teh science and technology out there, still wouldn't know how to set the time in a VCR. With technilogical progression, shouldn't our grasp of these technologies rise as well. Computers were suppose to make time for more work, more discovery, not for more leisure. If we continue to use technology as a crutch and not
  • Also from Neiman Marcus' Xmas Catalog. A 6 foot polished aluminum canoe/egg shaped object floats by mag-lev above a polished mahogany plinth. Slightly less practical than the air-car, but proven technology, a snip at $90k, and cheaper to run I guess...
  • ... this is in a catalog of fantasy gifts. Who said it was illegal to hawk a $3.5 million fantasy?
  • Okay, I can't resist...even though it goes against my better judgement, someone's gotta say it, and it might as well be me.

    Just imagine a beowulf cluster of these...

  • Moller lost almost all of his credibility by now. If he wants people to believe him, then he should provide test drives for anyone. Show us the skycars!
  • Hey, look it's the prototype!

    Isn't that the same "prototype" that has been offered for sale for the past 15-odd years?

    Funny how it never makes it into "production"... Oh well, for only $25k, you can get on the list to receive a newsletter about how you're going to get one Real Soon Now, except you don't get the newsletter.

    Hey, I hear you can get some green powder that changes Water into GASOLINE, for only $0.08US/gallon!!! The investment price is good: only $1,000US! [straightdope.com]

    Hurry!

    • by rlp (11898) on Saturday October 01, 2005 @11:50AM (#13693463)
      Safety Cap wrote: Hey, I hear you can get some green powder that changes Water into GASOLINE ...

      It is possible to create a powder that mixes with water to create gasoline. Years ago, while taking Organic Chemistry in college, I learned about the Grignard reaction. This synthesis can produce a solid that when mixed with water can hydrolyse to produce a hydrocarbon.

      Just two minor problems - 1) It also produces an alkali (such as KOH or NaOH) which would be bad for the engine and the environment, and 2) the initial synthesis starts with a hydrocarbon! TANSTAAFL
  • Neiman Marcus offers it for $3.5 million

    Moller's website offers it for a list price of $995,000

    You can't fly either one yet. Is he just hoping to sell the Prototype as a Garage Trophy?
    Or is this just a publicity stunt? (hey, it worked)

  • by camusflage (65105) on Saturday October 01, 2005 @11:01AM (#13693248)
    I'm waiting for the more environmentally friendly Hoverbike to be released!
  • by Ubiquitous88 (887387) on Saturday October 01, 2005 @11:09AM (#13693286)
    Aircars in a post 9/11 world? Even if Moller succeeds in the next decade - and even if the FAA approves his machine - can you really see the Dept. of Homeland Security letting these things within range of an office building? And would you want them to? The George Jetson dream was born in the middle of the last century, when Americans by and large thought that technology would be used for the best possible purposes and that everyone likes the good ol' USA. The car catches the imagination, yes. But it also is a dream of another era.
  • by Teahouse (267087) on Saturday October 01, 2005 @11:14AM (#13693306)
    This guy has never made a functioning prototype. He has scammed hundreds of venture capitalists over the years promising the inevitable "breakthrough" in just a "few more years." His current iteration (the M400) has been awaiting a non-tethered test flight for 5 years now. First it was the insurance, then it was the engine, now it's waiting for a man-made lake to test this thing over. The reality is that this thing can't get higher than ground effect. He is no closer to a flying car today than he was in 1972. I am so sick of this guy getting press for his failure. There are real flying car vehicles out there, Moller isn't one of them. He's a long-term grifter, nothing more.

Imitation is the sincerest form of plagarism.

Working...