Moller M200G Volantor
|This article is outdated. (October 2011)|
|Role||Flying car (aircraft)|
|Variants||Moller Skycar M400|
The M200G Volantor is a prototype of a flying saucer-style hovercraft, designed by aeronautics engineer Paul Moller. The vehicle is envisioned as a precursor to the Moller Skycar M400. The M200G Volantor uses a system of eight computer-controlled fans to hover up to 10 feet (3 m) above the ground. Volantor is a term coined by Moller meaning "a vertical takeoff and landing aircraft."
The M200G Neuera is a circular craft with seats in the middle for two passengers and a control panel. The vehicle is 3 feet (0.9 meters) tall and 10 feet (3 meters) in diameter. Eight Wankel rotary engines power eight enclosed fans. The fans allow for vertical take-off and landing and, once the vehicle is aloft, rely upon the ground effect to create a cushion of air that the vehicle sits upon while flying. The eight separate engines exist for redundancy, allowing the craft to continue flying if one engine goes out. If two engines go out, the craft will make a "survivable hard landing". The engines can be powered with gasoline, diesel or ethanol fuels.
The computer system monitors stability and the vehicle has only two controls, one for speed and direction and the other for altitude. The computer system also prevents the machine from flying higher than 10 feet (3 m) above the ground. Per Federal Aviation Administration regulations, any vehicle which flies above 10 feet is regulated as an aircraft. The M200G Neuera is expected to be capable of travel over any terrain at speeds up to 50 mph (80 km/h).
Paul Moller, the vehicle's inventor, has been working to bring a flying vehicle to the mass market for four decades without success.
News reports have been skeptical that the M200G vehicle will come to market, citing a case by the Securities and Exchange Commission which noted that in 1997 promotional materials for the Skycar had predicted 10,000 units sold by 2002.
Moller and his team claim that over 200 test flights of the M200G Neuera have already been conducted, though these flights rely on ground effect and do not necessarily suggest significant movement toward the goals set forth for the flagship model, the Skycar M400. Moller had predicted they would have the M200G ready for sale by early 2008 with a goal of 250 units produced in the year, but this did not occur. Depending upon demand, the M200G could cost under US$100,000 according to the company. As of August 2007, Moller had not yet established if the vehicle will be regulated by the United States Federal Aviation Administration or the Department of Transportation. Moller International has a long record of making promises which are not fulfilled, which tends to generate skepticism about their claims.
Discovery Channel's MythBusters reported that more than US$200 million have gone into the development of the Skycar. Moller has been claiming to be attempting to build a flying car since 1974, constantly promising delivery dates that are just "around the corner" but the closest Moller has come to producing a vehicle that flies is the M200G Neuera, which has been demonstrated to hover outside of ground effect. He has not produced any evidence or figures to support the promised abilities, such as fuel economy equivalent to that of an automobile; indeed, each proposed model would use eight less fuel-efficient Wankel engines, each of which must maintain high RPMs even when idle. The only demonstration approaching flight was a "hover" test performed by a Skycar prototype that was tethered to a crane, which Moller claimed was "for insurance purposes". Each time the deadline approaches, Moller has postponed it. For example, since 2003, when he started taking presale deposits for the flagship model M400, the date for FAA certification promised to investors and buyers has been moved forward one year each year, and currently stands at December 31, 2008. In 2003, the Securities and Exchange Commission sued Moller for civil fraud (Securities And Exchange Commission v. Moller International, Inc., and Paul S. Moller, Defendants) in connection with the sale of unregistered stock, and for making unsubstantiated claims about the performance of the company's flagship M400 Skycar. Moller settled this lawsuit by agreeing to a permanent injunction and paying $50,000. In the words of the SEC complaint, "As of late 2002, MI's approximately 40 years' of development has resulted in a prototype Skycar capable of hovering about fifteen feet above the ground."
- Effectively the prototype of the Flying saucer like Volantor and Neuera. Moller claims a performance of 100 mph (160 km/h), 900 miles (1,450 km) range, 8 low-emissions Wankel engines that run on a 70% (bio)ethanol and 30% water mixture; earlier models ran on gasoline. The ethanol/water fuel mixture reduces fire hazards, as it does not easily burn outside the engines. The water cools the engines from within, the engines can use higher compression ratios and hereby make more power than with 100% ethanol. Because of the mixture, the engine fulfills California SULEV requirements.
- M200G Volantor
- A proposed production version of the M200
- M200G Neuera
- The latest incarnation of the M200 which is reputed to be certified for flight above the FAA 10feet altitude restriction.
Data from 
- Crew: 2
- Length: 10 ft (3.0 m)
- Wingspan: 10 ft (3.0 m)
- Height: 3 ft (0.91 m)
- Powerplant: 8 × Rotapower 550 Wankel rotary engine
- Maximum speed: 100 mph (161 km/h; 87 kn)
- Cruise speed: 75 mph (65 kn; 121 km/h)
- Range: 185 mi (161 nmi; 298 km)
- Service ceiling: 10 ft (3 m)
- Beveridge, John (2007-08-08). "Flying Jetsons come of age with hover pod". Herald Sun. Retrieved 2007-08-30.
- "'Flying saucer' nears US take-off". BBC News. 2007-08-30. Retrieved 2007-08-30.
- "Flying Saucers Go Into Production". Sky News. 2007-08-03. Retrieved 2007-08-30.
- Moller International develops two new light-sport Skycars AirFramer, 30 January 2012. Accessed: 4 February 2012.
- Paul Moller and his (non) flying car
- Purchase Skycar from Moller official website
- Securities And Exchange Commission v. Moller International, Inc., and Paul S. Moller, Defendants from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission website
- Complaint: Moller International, Inc., and Paul S. Moller from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission website
- Aug 10, 2006, Business Wire: Rotapower Engine Achieves SULEV Emissions Goal Citat: "...The 530cc engine tested produced 22 hp at 4500 rpm with an air/fuel ratio of 20 and lambda of 1.35.
The toxic emission levels with ethanol were as follows:
Unburned hydrocarbons (HC) = .5 ppm or .0043 gm/hphr
Carbon monoxide (CO) = 9 ppm or .03 gm/hphr
Nitrous oxide (NOx) = 3 ppm or .016 gm/hphr..."
- Moller, Paul S. "Moller M200 Neuera specification". USA: Moller.com. Retrieved 22 October 2011.
- Moller brochure for the M200G Volantor.