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An Indian boffin appears to have got the jump on his US counterparts with a 12-rotor jambusting flying car.

Engineer Rakesh Goel expects the vehicle will be in production by 2004. He claims it is safer than a helicopter and ideal in crowded cities.

Mr Goel does seem, however, to have overlooked the consequences of giving the subcontinent's legendary drivers access to something which, in addition to left, right, forwards and backwards, can also go up and down.

Meanwhile, if you are among those eagerly awaiting delivery of your Moller Industries Skycar M400, you could always take it for a virtual spin. www.fsplanet.com has a Flight Sim 2000 download.

According to the bumf: "The Skycar M400 has 8 ROTAPOWER engines of 90 kW. Range 1400 Klm. The engines use 16 ltr. in 100 klm. M400 weights 1100 Kilo. Length: 5,5 mtr. Span 3.7 mtr. height 1.8 mtr. Operation ceiling 40,000 ft. Fuel consumption 15 mpg. Payload with max fuel 740 lbs. Maxium rate of climb 7800 fpm. Gross weight 2400 lbs. Engine power (8x120 hp) 960 hp. Takeoff and Landing area 35ft. dia Noise level at 500 ft 65 dBa."

We love it. When can we put down a deposit? ®

Related stories

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

Bootnote

Thanks to flying car wannabees Allen Foster and Tim Ireland for the info.

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