May I tour your facility?
Tours of the Moller International facility will restart again soon. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
regarding the schedule and availability.
Is Moller International stock publicly traded?
Yes, see our Investment page or any broker familiar with Over-The-Counter transactions.
I have a great idea! Can I mail my drawings and a description of my idea to Dr. Moller for his opinion? Can I call to discuss my invention with Dr. Moller?
Unfortunately we are not able to discuss or review concepts, help develop material or assist with the preparation of information for a patent. Our focus is on technology that applies strictly to our products, most of which is internally developed and requires all of our resources. If you have a patent on Skycar® or engine-related technology, please feel free to send us the US Patent Number and issue date plus a brief description. If we feel the patent may be applicable we will independently review. If you have an un-patented invention or concept, please get it patented before you attempt to contact us. Any preliminary materials will be destroyed upon receipt, and we do not discuss these matters on the phone or in person.
Can I buy an Aerobot®?
We are currently under contract to continue development of various Aerobots® designed exclusively for specialized functions. We have not yet looked into production opportunities for this device.
What Rotapower® models will be available?
The Rotapower® engine is being offered by our sister company, Freedom Motors, in two sizes initially; a single-rotor 650cc (75 hp) and a twin-rotor 1300cc (150 hp) version. Details are available on the Freedom Motors
Do you have a Rotapower® engine I can buy for testing or can I special order one for my own projects?
Yes, we have licensed production of the Rotapower® engine to Freedom Motors and they are taking orders for the 650cc and 1300cc models now. Visit Freedom Motors
for more information.
Can I purchase Rotapower® engines for homebuilt aircraft?
Due to liability concerns, MI doesn't plan to initially sell engines for aircraft. A number of interested parties plan to market marine engines with aviation conversion kits and thereby assume the liability. When the engine becomes publicly available, information on Rotapower® distributors will be posted on the Freedom Motors
Can I put a Rotapower® Engine in my car?
The current model is not intended for use in automotive applications.
The page listing Rotapower® Engine Performance Advantages states "power output/weight greater than 2 HP/lb.", yet the gasoline engine comparison lists the 150 HP Rotapower® engine with a weight of 135 lbs. Why?
We have achieved 2.5 HP/lb. in the lab with our special high performance model. The 150 HP version is a de-rated marine engine. This number is close to that for a production engine -- in an application for long life.
When will the M400 be available?
Limited numbers are expected to be available within the next three years. These will be used for marketing demonstrators, special sales, and military applications. A FAA certified model is more than four years away. We already have over 100 reservations for the FAA certified models. The timing of the models available to the public will depend on the speed of the government in certifying the vehicle as airworthy. Moller has little or no control in this process.
Why is it taking so long to complete the Skycar®?
Revolutionary ideas are not born overnight. We have been in development since the 1960's and have flown several prototypes and concept vehicles. The progress of the M400 is on a very quick schedule when you review the man-hours and dollars expended. Only $100 Million has been spent in R & D at Moller International, compare this to the $1.2 Billion required for the gearbox design on the Bell-Boeing V22 Osprey.
How much will the M400 cost?
In limited production (500 units per year) the M400 Skycar® will sell for a price comparable to that of a four-passenger high performance helicopter or airplane, approximately $500,000. As the volume of production increases substantially, its price can approach that of a quality automobile ($60,000-$80,000).
Do you have a showroom?
Not at this time.
Can I buy a Skycar® model/kit?
A limited number of model Skycars® are available for sale. We offer a 1/38th scale model of the M400 along with other branded merchandise. Please give us a call to check on availability and pricing.
Will the M400 be expensive to maintain/use?
With very few moving parts the M400's Rotapower® engines require little maintenance. Also the Rotapower® engine has the unique capability of burning a variety of fuels - thus making it affordable to operate regardless of which liquid fuels are readily available in your area.
Will the added air traffic create more air pollution?
- Most automotive pollution occurs at idle or low speed; the Skycar® does not need to idle and at low speed the engines are still working hard enough to burn the fuel completely.
- By travelling five times faster than the automobile the Skycar® spends less time producing emissions for the same distance travelled.
- We expect to generally fuel the Skycar® with alcohol (a much cleaner fuel) when it becomes readily available in the next few years.
Does this mean the traffic/congestion would just be in the sky instead of the ground?
No. Airspace is usable in 3-dimensions, and provides us with more flexibility than ground transportation that can use only surface area. Our view is that you would have layers of air traffic and whenever one altitude became overcrowded another would be utilized. To give you an idea of how this would work, imagine if each car on road today were turned into a Skycar® and put into the air using this new system. Each Skycar® in the sky would still be over a mile apart in all directions!
With added traffic in the sky, how will we keep the airways safe?
The FAA and NASA are studying a system to manage air traffic for smaller aircraft. In conjunction with this new "flight control" for all aircraft, current systems such as GPS and TCAS will also be utilized by the M400. In addition, prior to M400 production, it is expected that technological advancements will allow for increased flight safety by relying on additional systems such as advanced computerized transponder signal relays, pre-programmed flight plans, and nearby traffic display.
How do you plan to prevent your planes from running into each other in the sky?
Ultimately, the airway network will direct all Skycars® in such a manner that, while traveling in a specific direction on a designated computer controlled airway, they will all be going at the same speed and be automatically separated from one another.
How suited is the Skycar® to taxiing and does it require special roads?
It will taxi; however, it was engineered for ground travel only as is required to travel from your home to its point of take-off and back. Using electric motors for propulsion, the top ground speed will be 30-35 miles per hour. It does not require special roads.
Are there limitations to using the Skycar® for ground travel?
The M400 was engineered to meet the size and other requirements set forth by the DOT and will be "street legal" primarily because it can be treated under the same category as a three-wheeled motorcycle. It should be noted that Skycar® was developed for short distance ground travel at low speeds as a means to conveniently transport it from storage locations to approved take-off locations and back.
Where will the Skycar® be permitted to take off and land?
At this time, "power-lift" aircraft are authorized for take-off and landing only from airports and heliports as defined by the FAA. We expect that with the success of the M400, additional locations (vertiports) will be approved specifically to accommodate this mode of transportation. Possible candidates for vertiport sites may include small sections of local parking lots, fields and private properties that fit the specifications for space and noise requirements by the FAA.
Will the M400 be capable of remote location landings?
Yes but as with any VTOL aircraft, it needs a stable surface such as pavement, grass or hard clay for take-off and landing. Don't forget M400 must also adhere to all FAA regulations for this type of aircraft.
Will the M400 be pressurized?
Yes, at some point. This vehicle is capable of travel at 30,000 feet and aircraft require pressurization to operate above 12,000 feet.
Does the M400 float?
It can be adapted for water operation.
What happens if there is an engine failure? Would the M400 still fly?
All of our M400 Skycar® vital systems have redundant back-up including flight control, navigation, engines, etc. As long as both engines in the same duct do not fail, the Skycar® can be landed at a convenient airport. With multi-engine failure (like multiple bird ingestion) the system can be manoeuvred to a suitable site to deploy the parachutes.
Is there a cargo weight sensing system so overloading is impossible?
Yes. Strain gauges at the wheels will ensure that the maximum weight is not exceeded and that the weight distribution is acceptable for flight.
Is there a cargo area?
The production version of the M400 will have space for storage inside the cabin and a forward storage hatch. Again, the M400 was designed to transport passengers safely and efficiently and was not engineered for large cargo. In addition to the front hatch, you can also make use of the substantial area behind the rear seat.
What is the approximate cost of insurance for the M400?
We are currently working with the insurance industry regarding this issue.
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.
How can I obtain a video of the M400 Skycar®?
We do not have videos for sale at the present time.
For press only: You can obtain a BETACAM SP tape with flight/hover footage of the M400 and M200X by calling us at 530-756-5086. There is a required $25 refundable deposit.
What about the Skycar® Volantor's High Disc Loading?
High disc loading
(up to a point of course) leads to higher propulsive efficiency at higher speeds. For example, typical tilt-rotor aircraft (V22, BA609) has a disc loading of less than 50 lbs./ft2 compared to 150 lbs/ft2 for the M400. The V22 should be 75 miles per hour slower than the M400, based on the historic relationship between speed and disc-loading, but by using more power in cruise than in hover it is able to approach the M400's cruise speed. However the V22 can only accomplish this by burning over three times as much fuel per passenger mile in cruise. The volantor's higher disc loading with its small efficient ducted fans account for this reduced fuel consumption.
Doesn't the new folding-wing design of the M400 preclude its ever becoming a "roadable" vehicle (one that can be driven to and from the local heli-pad), or was "roadability" never seriously considered?
On the contrary, the previous version width was slightly over 10 feet, while the folded wing version is configured at 8 1/2 feet. This is within the current width limits without any exemption. Roadability and containerized shipping were both considerations for this design. In addition to the more compact design, the aircraft now gets about double the fuel economy of the previous version. These improvements are due to its increased wing surface and better lift-to-drag ratio.
Will Moller International offer more than one model of the Skycar®?
MI has looked at models ranging in size from single person to six-passenger. The final decision on which model(s) go into production will depend on demand. Right now it appears that the highest demand for a near-term product may be from the military. Their interest in a higher payload capacity vehicle than our M400 (750 lbs.) may move us towards the M600 (six passenger model with crew and/or cargo of ~1,500 lbs.) The M600's configuration is approximately the same as the latest M400 design, only about 20% bigger and is at the limits of what we believe our style of ducted-fan VTOL can handle.
In your photographs and video clips of the M400 it looks like the nacelles rotate. Why?
Yes, the nacelles rotate. The rotation through approximately 45°, in combination with the vane deflection system provides very efficient vertical thrust for vertical take-off, landing and hovering. As forward speed increases the nacelles will rotate from their initial position to horizontal followed by reducing the vane deflection from 45° to near 0°. Since the nacelles reach the horizontal position at relatively low forward speed, leading edge lip stall (flow separation) is prevented.
How is the Skycar® powered on the ground? Does it use thrust from the nacelles or do the wheels have a direct drive of some kind?
Current plans call for one engine to provide electrical power to motors in the drive wheels. Alternatively, one engine could provide sufficient thrust for ground propulsion as a backup to the electric drive.
Why don't you see if a company with a big budget for advertising would sponsor the untethered and manned demonstration flight of the Skycar®?
We agree that with the astronomical advertising budgets that seem to be available for products like sports drinks, football games, auto racing, etc that it would be a "no-brainer" to slice off a small chunk for the Skycar®. The potential publicly could be enormous! We now have well over 750 members of the domestic and international news media who have requested to attend a demonstration flight of the Skycar®. The coverage available to a sponsor of such an event would be close to that obtained by sponsors of the Olympics or other such international events. Anyone interested in becoming a sponsor is encouraged to contact us for further details.
Why is the Terrafugia classified as a Light Sport Aircraft and the Skycar® is not?
The Light Sport Aircraft (SLA) category is indeed not the appropriate category for the Skycar®. Terrafugia's recently received exception to the 1,200 weight classification will allow them to certify in this category, but it won't get them the Department of Transportation waivers they will need to effectively drive on public roads. Because they are a four-wheeled vehicle, the rigorous requirements for crash protection apply to their vehicle, but if they try to comply with these requirements I believe the additional weight will make their aircraft's performance very poor. Lastly, the Terrafugia is not VTOL and therefore will have to travel considerable distances on the road, perhaps even on highways, to get to and from an airport.
Because the Skycar® uses a three-wheeled undercarriage it is not currently required to meet the same standards as a four-wheeled road vehicle. Our design's center of gravity is well balanced on a tricycle landing gear, whereas the Terrafugia's design cannot. Our intent is to register under the three-wheeled vehicle safety standards, similar to those used for a motorcycle or utility vehicle, which do not require air-bags, crumple zones, etc. Additionally, we do not envision the need to drive the Skycar® great distances or at high-speeds as we are VTOL capable and can land and take-off much closer to one's home or destination.
Why is Moller working on the Neuera? What is the Neuera?
The Neuera is intended to be a low-altitude recreational craft, and is based on the early M200X design. MI is currently the in process of updating the aircraft with the latest Rotapower® engines as well as versatile redundant integrated Flight Control Computer avionics. Similar to the recent onset of FAA regulations around "drone" aircraft, or unmanned aerial systems (UAS), MI is pursuing an airworthiness certification that would open up a new category of aircraft. Our team is hard at work getting the Neuera 200 ready for testing. Once FAA certifications are complete, the Neuera 200 may be one of the first commercially available aircraft from Moller!
The Neuera and the Firefly look like identical aircraft. Why is that?
The Firefly is intended to be a rescue utility version of the Neuera aircraft. It will have more powerful motors, a modified chassis that can support 4 people, as well as other modification to support rescue operations.
What is the price for the Neuera?
Initial sales of the M200 Neuera will be through an international auction. Once the M200 production level reaches 1,000 per year it is anticipated that the price will be less than $250,000, however, the ultimate purchase price of the M200 will be governed by its engine cost, which depends on the engines' widespread use in other applications.
What is the price for the Firefly?
Estimates for the sales price of the Firefly are still TBD.
How safe is the Neuera and how are you proving that it is safe?
Most VTOL aircraft are extremely intolerant to failures of their propulsion systems. The Neuera and Skycar®-series volantors have been designed to withstand a failure of an engine during VTOL operations by using multiple engines to provide thrust. If an engine were to fail while the aircraft is in hover, our redundant propulsion system can accommodate the failure by providing additional thrust from the other engines. We also have redundant control system components using multiple computer-assisted flight controllers. During flight tests we have induced engine failures and had no significant loss of control or stability.
What is the potential for vehicles such as this to impact on congestion and traffic?
The Neuera and Firefly are not intended for general use over developed areas. It is our intent to offer this vehicle for utilitarian and recreational purposes over undeveloped terrain. We believe its use within an urban setting would be limited to public safety operations such as fire fighting, medical evacuation, transport and insertion of tactical personnel, and other critical missions that the craft is uniquely qualified to perform.
How long will it take for the vehicles to be competitively priced enough to truly compete with traditional on-road vehicles? Along with safety, price will surely be hugely important in determining the long-term effects in alleviating congestion on the roads?
Again, our view for the role of the Neuera-type vehicles is more for recreation and public safety operations than for routine travel. The vehicle's special capabilities and ease of use make it an excellent choice for these functions. Use in more general travel scenarios would necessitate a dramatic improvement in fuel economy for the Neuera-based products. We believe the Neuera series products will remain primarily used for public safety and recreational applications. We believe the Skycar®, with its higher speed, longer range and aerodynamic cruise capabilities, will be an affordable alternative to mid- to long range commuting in the not too distant future. Its combined VTOL and high-speed flight capabilities, good fuel economy, roadability and potential low cost when made in high volume are expected to make it a very attractive alternative to ground-based transportation. Furthermore, we believe that while volume production of the Skycar® is perhaps a decade away, within the next few years we will have demonstrated the Skycar®'s ability to overcome a variety of ground-based transportation problems that plague us today.
Is there a waiting list for the Neuera?
We have a number of people who have put deposits on the Skycar® who will be given an opportunity to apply this deposit to the Neuera. Since we have not yet made this offer to the existing depositors there is no firm number of these depositors that may move over to the Neuera list.
Does my Neuera M200G auction list registration deposit earn interest?
Where can I get service or warranty work done on my Neuera?
Service for the vehicle would need to be performed by Moller International, or its authorized representatives. Since we don't have any authorized representatives yet, we would probably look to see where you are and see if anyone locally has the required skill set. If they do, we can offer to train them to perform the maintenance and warranty work. If not, the work would need to be done here in Davis, California.
Do I need a pilot's license to fly the Neuera?
We do not anticipate a requirement for a private pilot’s license to operate the Neuera. Initial models may be constrained to an altitude of about 5 feet above the ground, and therefore falls into the classification of a ground effect vehicle. The FAA has stated that it is not going to take authority for regulating these kinds of vehicles, but constraining a vehicle to ground effect operation, even though it is capable of flying much higher, is a unique application of operation under the ground effect vehicle category. We do anticipate the FAA to have oversight throughout the final development and testing. Other federal, state or local ordinances may apply and we will do our best to keep everyone informed of these requirements as they develop.
How would the Neuera behave if it came to steep drop off?
The terrain following sensors and software would detect that the terrain is dropping off and attempt to steer clear. The vehicle’s GPS systems utilize downloaded terrain details to anticipate natural features such as cliffs. In the event of undetectable drop offs or obstructions, the Neuera is capable of flying at altitudes similar to helicopters. The Firefly is a great example of the versatility born with the Neuera.
How does the Neuera handle in the wind?
The artificial stability system is continuous checking for non-commanded changes in the attitude of the craft, and when one is detected it attempts to correct it. These corrections typically require about a fifth of a second to occur, resulting in a very smooth flight. We have flown in some pretty significant wind conditions, and believe that in all but the worst of conditions the vehicle would remain very stable. More tests and data will have to be collected to determine the limitations for routine operations.
Won't the Neuera cause traffic problems when it is used in cities?
The Neuera is intended for use "off-road" somewhat like an ATV or hovercraft would be used. It is meant as an alternative to a trail bike, boat, Jeep, air-boat or other off-road vehicle to access remote areas that would otherwise not be open for travel. It is not intended for use above roads, trails, walkways, etc. and especially not within an urban area where there are lots of other alternatives. The exception to this would be for emergency services like fire fighting, search and rescue, and emergency medical evacuation from high-rise buildings and such.
Is the thrust from the Neuera fans going to be a danger to the pedestrians the vehicle flies over?
We do not believe so. In some of our videos you can clearly see the photographers around and under the vehicle during the test flights. No one is suffering any particular discomfort from this exposure. We have personnel who stood under the Skycar® 400 while it has hovered over their heads not more than 10 feet and experienced little more than a good gust of wind. The airflow is fast, but relatively low volume compared to that of a helicopter, which many people find much more discomforting. Still, it is not something that we intend to happen on a frequent basis, so we really don't believe down-wash from the vehicle is going to be a major issue.
Isn't the noise from the Neuera engines and fans going to be a problem?
The Neuera uses multiple Rotapower® Aircraft Series engines, a 4-stroke rotary engine (see more at www.freedom-motors.com
) and while it is true that we have eight of them, noise is not cumulative so eight engines don't make the vehicle eight times louder. Unless someone modifies a car's exhaust system, the noise levels produced are generally acceptable, just as they are anticipated to be in the Neuera. In addition, there is some fan noise, but again this doesn't increase the level of noise cumulatively, so it should be something we can constrain to an acceptable level.