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Skycar Update

Date: 11-10-13
Host: John B. Wells
Guests: Paul Moller, Ed De Reyes, Adam Kokesh

In the first half of the program, John B. Wells welcomed Dr. Paul Moller, who has received 43 patents including the first U.S. patent on a fundamentally new form of aircraft, known as the Skycar. They were joined by Ed De Reyes, chief pilot for the Skycar test flight program. Moller attributed the inspiration for the Skycar to his days growing up in rural Canada and being captivated the versatile mobility of the hummingbird. He explained that the Skycar is not a car which becomes an airplane and, instead, is more of "an airplane that has mobility on the ground." To that end, he envisions future Skycar owners driving the vehicle to a vertiport and then flying to "almost anywhere." Moller also suggested that, as the vehicle gets further recognized by the FAA, the legal requirement to fly a Skycar will eventually become merely a pilot's certificate rather than a license, which will drastically reduce costs for consumers.

Having recently gotten FAA certification to begin untethered, manned flights, Skycar test pilot De Reyes expressed hope that these tests will confirm the capabilities and safety of the craft. Additionally, Moller noted that, in light of the historic nature of vehicle's first manned flight, the Smithsonian Institute has actually asked to receive the Skycar once these initial tests have been completed. Although he will make history as the first untethered pilot of a Skycar, De Reyes modestly likened his role to that of Marty McFly in the Back to the Future films, in that much of the controls of the vehicle are heavily guided by on-board computers. As such, Moller noted that, ultimately, there is nothing technological about the Skycar "that would limit this to be in the hands of almost anybody."

Kokesh Case

During the third hour, libertarian activist Adam Kokesh discussed his recent release from prison and provided an update on his legal case. Kokesh, who was arrested after he posted a video of himself loading a shotgun at the Freedom Plaza in Washington D.C., described his current legal status as "a delicate situation," since he has pled guilty to charges in D.C. and is due to be sentenced in January, while also still facing charges in Virginia. "I'm taking responsibility for my actions," he declared, but observed that the goal of his protest, to "challenge the way people think about government," was a success. Kokesh mused that "any kind of civil disobedience has consequences or it wouldn't be civil disobedience" and called the decision to plead guilty the "hardest decision I ever had to make in my life."

The final hour of the program was devoted to Open Lines.

Related Material

Skycar Restrictions Lifted
Skycar Restrictions Lifted
After years of being forced by FAA regulations to fly their Skycar using tethered and unmanned flights, Moller International has recently received permission from the agency to shed these restrictions. Soon, the Skycar will embark on its first-ever untethered and manned test flight which will see the craft flying "as free as a hummingbird, the way it was meant to be." In anticipation of this historic first flight, the company has turned to the general public in the hopes of generating additional funding via crowdsourcing at IndieGoGo. You can view the video here.

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