When we first reported on the Moller M400 Skycar auction a couple of weeks ago, we speculated that you would need a pilot's license in addition to the $4 million reserve price. Well, the flying car has finally reached the pages of eBay and we have more of the specifics for you. As many of us suspected, the Skycar "is suitable for test and evaluation only and is not certified for use by the Federal Aviation Authority nor as a licensed road vehicle." So you are basically bidding to finance future work and the right to own a very large remote control plane. But the Skycar is a real vehicle. Road and flight tests have been going on since September 2001, and this test vehicle has flown over a dozen times at the Moller International facilities in Davis, California.
Powered by eight air-cooled Rotapower rotary engines, this prototype M400 Skycar is capable of generating approximately 2,000 pounds of vertical thrust. It currently runs on methanol, but can also be operated on regular unleaded pump gas. And remember when we said this was essentially an RC plane? The "pilot" uses a remote control to "fly" the vehicle, which uses a sophisticated computer and fly-by-wire system to control altitude and orientation. Commands are fed through a 300-ft umbilical cable attached to the aircraft. Up until now, it has only been flown at 40 ft however.
So if you are still interested, here's a summary of the bid process. It's a "Private Auction" hosted by eBay. You need to be pre-approved prior to posting a bid. And here's a big caveat: sale of the Skycar prototype is subject to approval under ITAR. That is the International Traffic in Arms Regulations. Moller believes the Skycar to be a Category VIII aircraft, which makes it subject to military restrictions as well. Therefore, if you are the winning bidder, you need to prove you are who you say you are, and after a background check, Moller International will obtain the required permits and legal authorization to transfer ownership of the Skycar over to you. Still with us? Well, there is also a warning that customs, shipping and import fees could run you another 25 grand. But Moller will reimburse you with valid receipts. Sounds like the perfect holiday treat for the person who has everything. Bidding is currently at $2,000,001 with about six days left to go.