• Aug 31st 2009 at 9:13AM
  • 27
What are the chances that American soldiers will soon be ditching their High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicles – better known as the HMMWV, Humvee or just the Hummer – for flying Skycars from Moller? Well, let's just say we're not holding our breath. Still, there's apparently at least a few people that think the Skycar would be ideal for military use.

According to Lieutenant Colonel James Thomas, 304th SB, 3rd Expeditionary Sustainment Command, Moller's vehicles could be very useful in combat:
Poor and unimproved roads and rugged terrain severely limit the use of the [Mine Resistant Ambush Protected vehicle]. The Moller Skycar(R) provides a more cost effective, highly maneuverable, lethal and safe platform for the 21st century soldier to dominate and win in an Asymmetric Warfare Environment. The Skycar(R) will become the MRAP vehicle of Afghanistan. The ability to safely and rapidly employ soldiers on the battlefield enables us to exercise economy of force on the battlefield, doing more with fewer soldiers.
One of Moller's claims to fame comes from its ethanol-burning Rotapower rotary engines, which it says make lots of power while using little fuel and emitting exhaust that's sometimes cleaner than the surrounding air. Currently, though, there's no indication that these engines or the Skycars using them will be in production any time soon. Color us skeptical. Click past the break for the official press release.

[Source: Moller]

PRESS RELEASE:

Moller International, Inc. Skycar Could Allow Military to Do More in Afghanistan With Fewer Soldiers

August 27, 2009 /EIN News/ -- Moller International (the "Company" -- OTC-BB: MLER) is pleased to announce today that its Skycar technology has gained ground within the military for its use in high-tech, demanding battlefield applications like those in Afghanistan. "Afghanistan is not Iraq" stated Lieutenant Colonel James Thomas, 304th SB, 3rd Expeditionary Sustainment Command. "The MRAP (Mine Resistant Ambush Protected) vehicle that turned the tide of battle in Iraq will have much less impact in Afghanistan," he continued in a recently issued white paper entitled Winning an Asymmetric War with Skycars. This report, directed to the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), spelled out the numerous advantages the Skycar(R) aircraft could offer the military in its effort to win the war in Afghanistan."Poor and unimproved roads and rugged terrain severely limit the use of the MRAP. The Moller Skycar(R) provides a more cost effective, highly maneuverable, lethal and safe platform for the 21st century soldier to dominate and win in an Asymmetric Warfare Environment. The Skycar(R) will become the MRAP vehicle of Afghanistan. The ability to safely and rapidly employ soldiers on the battlefield enables us to exercise economy of force on the battlefield, doing more with fewer soldiers."

Lieutenant Colonel Thomas is not the first voice within the military to suggest the use of the Skycar in improving maneuverability on the battlefield. In an article titled A Revolutionary Vehicle for the Future, Colonel Larry Harman, then Vice Director of the Combat Service Support Battle Laboratory at Fort Lee, Virginia discusses the Skycar's military version referred to as the LAMV (pronounced "lam-vee"), or light aerial multipurpose vehicle."(The) LAMV will benefit the Army's battlefield distribu­tion concept tremendously because it will be able to move commodities rapidly when and where they are needed across a widely dispersed battle space. Both air and ground main supply routes (MSR's) would exist throughout the battle space," he goes on to say."Without any doubt, this technological innovation will succeed internationally in the private, commercial, and mili­tary sectors. I hope that the U.S. Army will be the first army in the world to embrace and exploit this technology. But sooner rather than later, this aerial vehicle technology will affect all of our lives. It is just over the horizon."

About Moller International

Moller International is a fully reporting public company (OTC-BB: MLER) that developed and flight-tested a utility or recreational, two-passenger VTOL aircraft called the NeueraTM. This was followed by the development and initial flight-testing of a four-passenger VTOL aircraft called the Skycar(R). The Skycar(R) has the potential to provide an airborne alternative to a significant portion of the miles now traveled by automobile. Both aircraft use the Company's Rotapower(R) rotary engine, designed specifically for applications requiring high power along with low weight, volume, hazardous emissions, fuel consumption and cost per horsepower.

The Skycar(R) and NeueraTM have been featured on a number of TV programs including CBS 60 Minutes "Highway In The Sky", NBC's Today Show "Today's American Story", and History Channel's "Greatest Movie Gadgets: Then and Now."

Skycar(R), NeueraTM and Rotapower(R) are trademarks of Moller International in the USA and other countries.


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  • 27 Comments
      • 6 Years Ago
      I remember sitting in Earth Science class almost 20 years ago and getting our monthly science news bulletin. There was a picture of the Skycar on the cover and the cover story listed a bunch of ridiculous stats for the machine, hundreds of miles on a gallon of gas, etc. And the story said Michael Jackson put down a deposit for the first one. Well Micheal's never going to get his Skycar.

      Paul Moller's been working on this thing since 1962, with the XM-2. I really think he should have made it Hydrogen powered because his car should be ready the same time H fuel cells are a viable option.
      Lookup MGTOW
      • 6 Years Ago
      The skycar with all its unfulfilled promises could hardly be considered viable as is; much less with heavy armor , cockpit tub, and a bulletproof canopy.

      i'm not claiming it's easier to start clean sheet and develop an NCC-1701D shuttlecraft.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Even if the Skycar performed as described the primary limiting factor is not road quality but the operational ceiling in mountainous areas. I'm guessing a shoulder-fire missile would still bring one down.

      Definitely a good way to get them to stick their heads up though. A bit like a wild weasel mission. Bring on the snipers wherever this thing flies over.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Has the Skycar ever even had a real flight?

      Wouldn't hovercrafts be smarter... proven and existing technology... same concept...
        • 6 Years Ago
        Having been to Iraq, twice, I can comfortably say hovercrafts are a no-go. The "moon-dust" of the region (both Iraq and Afghanistan have it) is really amazing. You take a step and "poof" goes dust, multiply that by the fans on a hovercraft. That dust gets into every thing and doesn't go away. My boots I wear daily to work are still impregnated by the moon dust and I left Iraq in December.

        The Moeller (and helos we already use) get up and away from the dust. Also, hovercraft would be really cool for setting off pressure plates and getting blown skyhigh. Oh, also, hovercraft would still set off other types of IEDs by passing through infrared triggers and again, boom.

        Don't underestimate the DoD for taking a fantasy vehicle and making it ubiquitous. Look outside and you'll see dozens of Jeeps and Hummers running around.
        • 6 Years Ago
        If by "flying" you mean getting a few feet off the ground while attached to a tether from a crane (notice the crane at the side), then I guess you're right. But somehow, that is even less impressive than the Wright Brothers first flight. Perhaps its the fact that it didn't demonstrate the translation from hovering to forward flight (a tricky issue with other hovering planes) or the suspicion that some of the lift may have come from the crane and not the engines.
        • 6 Years Ago
        My thoughts exactly, a hovercraft would be ideal if the goal is to move over rough terrain rapidly. I imagine its distributed weight might even fool explosives designed for vehicles. But their soft under bellys would make them sensitive to IEDs. Unless, if making the skirt from a bulletproof material plus the air cushion would actually dissipate the blast. Who knows might be more durable than you think

        @LeRoy - learn to read.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Moller questions - answered has it ever flown? =YES: http://www.moller.com/video2.htm

        This is not a hovercraft: http://www.moller.com/

        Development of the product has been moving forward privately funded for more then 20 years. His invention is revolutionary and advantageous for the terrain of Afghanistan.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Seems well suited for hunting for WMDs in Iraq.
      • 6 Years Ago
      What's "green" about a flying car?
      • 6 Years Ago
      It takes roughly 5x propulsive power for vertical lift versus horizontal take-off for a typical airplane. That's why the engines are larger than the rest of the vehicle. The Skycar has little in the way of surfaces that can provide lift, so its lift, even for horizontal flight, would be mostly from the engines. This vehicle's passenger and cargo capacity and range would be tactically useless. Forget about armoring it, so it would be vulnerable to anything.
      • 6 Years Ago
      A new Ford Raptor with armor and hall#$%%%
      • 6 Years Ago
      This guy is still trying to peddle this floating car? I say floating because I've never seen it actually fly. I hope the military goes for his idea. It's a great concept but I think he's ran out of money a few times to never get anywhere.
      • 6 Years Ago
      I, too, am skeptical, but...

      I've seen so many of those Popular Science/Popular Mechanics covers over the years that part of me would love Moller to succeed.

      If the concept could be borne out, why couldn't this become the "arial Jeep"?

      I wish him luck.
      • 6 Years Ago
      I think we can all admit that this is stupid idea, any investment in this type of vehicle, especially Moller's would be a great waste of time and money. This design is buy no means more efficient than a ground vehicle, since there are no lifting surfaces, the vehicle would have to use vectored thrust, which is just simply inefficient. Including the controls just adds to the nightmare, there is a reason that this vehicle is not flying right now, it is impossible to control, stopping and turning the vehicle is slow and typical response time would be insufficient if flown near the ground. Not to mention that fact that if a single engine has any problem, the entire vehicle will fall out of the sky. Lastly, the fact that the inventor has limited himself to the use of rotary engines, which are better than typical ICE for this application, are nothing in comparison to a gas turbine engine, in both efficiency and performance. I hope someone near to LC Thomas would refer this message to him.
      Atul
      • 6 Years Ago
      Don't laugh. Any kind of flying, floating, or hovering vehicle would totally negate the effects of IED's on the roads and would save many lives.
        • 6 Years Ago
        @Atul
        But helicopters could do that, and are well established technology and have much better aerodynamics that this "skycar", and are more fuel efficient as well. Come to think of it, the British Harrier jet would also be more aerodynamic, and it is already designed and equipped for military use!
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