Cost Effective Performance
From its inception the Skycar 400 has been designed to minimize both direct and indirect costs. The Skycar uses an engine that can burn almost any fuel from diesel to natural gas so that worldwide refueling can be accommodated by what is locally available. Using gasoline, the Skycar can be expected to get over 20 mpg. With a range of 750 miles, the logistics associated with refueling the shorter-range helicopter can be eliminated.
The Rotapower engines have only two major moving parts, weigh less than 80 pounds and occupy less than one cubic foot. The bulk of the remaining technology is electronic and replaceable in modules as the onboard redundant systems identify a failed or failing component.
Vehicle size greatly affects ground mobility and parking space required. The Skycar, with its compact size, can be stored in a space the size of a standard single car garage. The landing gear on the vehicle makes roadability possible for short distances.
Initially introduced as the M400, four-seat model, the Skycar 400 technology has the ability to be both scaled up to a six passenger, M600, or scaled down to a one passenger, M100. This allows a cost efficient vehicle size to accommodate a variety of military, paramilitary, and commercial transport missions.
Time Critical Performance
The Skycar's combined VTOL and speed capability make extremely rapid response possible. Search and Rescue, Emergency Medical, Drug Interdiction, Surveillance, or Critical Personnel Transport are examples where minutes saved can literally mean the difference between success and failure, life and death, or thousands of dollars. Helicopters have traditionally offered the flexibility necessary in these applications allowing for ingress and egress into a limited space where fixed wing aircraft do not have access. The performance penalties for using helicopters as compared to fixed wing aircraft have been a low maximum cruise speed of approximately 125 mph, a limited range of around 300 miles, and a restricted operational ceiling of less than 15,000 ft.
A Skycar 400, by utilizing its VTOL capability, has the flexible access of the helicopter. In addition, it has the 375 mph maximum speed, 750-mile range, and 36,000 foot ceiling of a high performance aircraft. The Skycar can also climb at more than a vertical mile per minute.