Feeds

Flights of fantasy

We're still waiting for that flying car, gentlemen

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

A small collection of flying cars for your delight

It seems that we may have been a little hard on Paul Moller, inventor of the M400 flying car. Despite the reservations of MIT and NASA boffins, Mr Moller's supporters insist that the vehicle is a viable proposition.

Moller's flying car pedigree looks impressive - on paper at least. In 1989 he successfully flew the M200X. This rotary-engined flying saucer has since made over 200 flights, although there are currently no plans for a family saloon version.

Perhaps Moller should take a leaf from The Consolidated Vultee Aircraft Company. This San Diego outfit wowed the post-war world with its ConvAIRCAR - a flying car in the true sense of the word. Just drive to the airport, clip on some wings and a propellor and away you go.

The ConvAIRCAR's design was truly revolutionary. On November 17, 1947, its 725 pound fibreglass body circled San Diego for over an hour, delivering 45mpg.

Vultee's celebrations were shortlived, however. A few days after the maiden flight the prototype crash landed in the desert, proving that mid-air is a very poor place to run out of petrol. The disaster was later blamed on a faulty fuel gauge, but the damage was already done. Public confidence in the project plummeted, and the ConvAIRCAR was consigned to history.

Manufacturers have since been unable to sell the flying car concept to a sceptical public. They keep trying though, bless 'em.

Paul Moller is not alone in keeping the dream alive. The CarterCopter is: "is a vertical takeoff and landing aircraft projected to cruise at 400 MPH at 50,000 feet (230 MPH at sea level). It uses a rotor for vertical takeoff and landing and a small wing for high speed cruise."

Actually, the CarterCopter is more or less an advanced autogyro. Its manufacturers claim that it offers: "the speed and efficiency of a fixed wing aircraft and the off-airport abilities of a helicopter, all with much less complexity than tiltrotor aircraft and other vectored thrust aircraft such as the Harrier."

All well and good. The CarterCopter and Moller M400 are both offering themselves as an escape from commuter drudgery. To be a viable alternative to the car they need to address two issues: showroom price and fuel costs. The M400 will weigh in at around $700,000 - when and if it ever flies. For a bit extra I can buy a Harrier jump-jet right now. And will Moller be offering Sidewinders as an optional extra? I think not. Once again we ask - Where's our flying car?®

Links

Moller Industries
Cartercopters

Related stories

So, where is my flying car?
Skycar crashes and burns?

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
Facebook's Zuckerberg in EBOLA VIRUS FIGHT: Billionaire battles bug
US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention contacted as site supremo coughs up
Space exploration is just so lame. NEW APPS are mankind's future
We feel obliged to point out the headline statement is total, utter cobblers
Down-under record: Australian gets $140k for pussy
'Tiffany' closes deal - 'it's more common to offer your wife', says agent
Internet finally ready to replace answering machine cassette tape
It's a simple message and I'm leaving out the whistles and bells
FedEx helps deliver THOUSANDS of spam messages DIRECT to its Blighty customers
Don't worry Wilson, I'll do all the paddling. You just hang on
The iPAD launch BEFORE it happened: SPECULATIVE GUFF ahead of actual event
Nerve-shattering run-up to the pre-planned known event
Win a year’s supply of chocolate (no tech knowledge required)
Over £200 worth of the good stuff up for grabs
STONER SHEEP get the MUNCHIES after feasting on £4k worth of cannabis plants
Baaaaaa! Fanny's Farm's woolly flock is high, maaaaaan
Boffins who stare at goats: I do believe they’re SHRINKING
Alpine chamois being squashed by global warming
Swiss wildlife park serves up furry residents to visitors
'It's ecological' says spokesman, now how would you like your Bambi done?
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.