Art was joined by engineer and transportation entrepreneur, Paul Moller, who provided information and updates on the development of his Skycar, a personal vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) vehicle. The Skycar utilizes eight separate Wankel-type rotary engines controlled by an advanced computer system. The vehicle can accommodate from four to six passengers, cruise around 300 mph at an altitude of 25,000 ft, and has a range of 750 miles on a full tank of gasoline. Moller said a recent breakthrough now allows the Skycar to be run on ethanol.
He said the military has purchased unmanned versions of the Skycar, and he is currently talking to a large corporation to attain financing for the next phase of Skycar's development: forward flight testing. Moller said it would take about $100 million to manufacture a vehicle at a consumer cost of $250,000. He further estimated that an investment of $500 million to $1 billion would get the Skycar's price down to $50,000. Moller also announced plans to set up a plant in Eastern Europe to produce a line of powerful, compact engines. He expects to build 3 million engines a year, to be used in scooters, motorcycles and snowmobiles.
Moller imagines the skies one day filled with flying vehicles, riding safely on a computer-controlled 'Highway In The Sky.' At present, he is constructing a lake (more info) where he can perform test flights. Moller hopes to hold a press conference in the Spring to demonstrate the Skycar. Moller is optimistic about the future of his Skycar, but doesn't see it replacing the car in his lifetime.
The last hour of the program was devoted to Open Lines.
Bumper music from Saturday September 23, 2006