Cool! I can imagine those would be very pricey. But, I would like to have one.California company says its flying car will be a sci-fi dream come true
California company says its flying car will be a sci-fi dream come true
BY OREN YANIV
DAILY NEWS STAFF WRITER
Monday, November 3rd 2008, 10:37 PM
Forget congestion pricing. The ultimate solution for rush-hour gridlock may be flying cars.
A California-based company says it's ready to put a such a thing on the road - and up in the air - within two years.
Moller International's Autovolantor is based on the Ferrari 599 GTB. It features eight mounted engines that can thrust it skyward above other idling autos.
"Who hasn't been frustrated sitting in traffic and wanted to just take off and fly over everybody else?" said Bruce Calkins, general manager of the company.
Moller, based outside Sacramento, specializes in vertical takeoff and landing aircraft.
A wealthy Russian man recently asked Moller to modify its know-how and help him overcome Moscow's notorious traffic jams.
"At first, we were very skeptical," said Paul Moller, the company's chairman. But as they started testing, "We were surprised by how practical it became."
New hybrid technology allows for using a battery to produce the energy boost needed for liftoff without compromising the car's fuel economy, Moller said.
To hop over a roadblock, the driver would pop open four small wings that help propel and then stabilize the vehicle in midair. The car can hover above ground for 15 minutes or so, reaching up to 100 mph and 2,500 feet.
"Since the vehicle is so stable, a 10-year-old can fly this machine," Moller said. Of course, the child couldn't legally drive anywhere.
The company estimates that producing a prototype would cost $3 million plus additional costs for testing. The car's price would be much lower, of course.
The potential Russian investor has yet to accept the proposal, but Moller said other suitors are out there.
He is convinced that flying cars will no longer be confined to sci-fi flicks in the near future.
"That's an absolute guarantee," he said. "The technology is going forward in leaps and bounds."