Moller International Designs VTOL LSA
Moller Skycar 200LS
By Dan Grunloh, Editor – Light Plane World, EAA 173888
Moller International Inc., the developer of the vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) Moller Skycar aircraft, announced the completion of the initial design phase for two new Skycar aircraft that may qualify for the light-sport aircraft (LSA) category. The company website has published projected specifications and performance predictions for both single-seat and two-seat versions. Unlike other Moller designs, the 200LS concept aircraft uses two fixed nacelles for forward thrust and a single lifting duct in the body.
The original VTOL Moller Skycar concept was first demonstrated in 1965. Moller International Inc. was established in 1983 to develop and market VTOL aircraft for the personal market. According to company information, it has had to develop and integrate the disparate technologies required for small, powered-lift VTOL aircraft. These include electronic stabilization, efficient ducted fan designs, thrust vectoring mechanisms, and aerodynamically stable composite airframe structures. They say they have developed numerous significant spin-off technologies along the way including the Rotapower Wankel rotary engine now marketed by Freedom Motors.
In a news release, the designer, Dr. Paul Moller, stated he believes the original four-seat Moller 400 Skycar has huge potential in the personal transportation market, and he hopes to bring the smaller, more affordable LS series online quicker and easier. He feels that the lower initial cost and lower operating cost of the LS series, combined with the fact that operators will only need a sport pilot certificate, will make the aircraft immediately marketable once they are approved to operate under the LSA classification.
The 200LS model is the most conventional appearance of all the Moller designs and the only one with fixed nacelles. The other designs use tilting nacelles to transition from vertical to horizontal flight. Payload is calculated to be 400 pounds. A total of 175 hp from the twin engines is calculated to yield a cruise of 122 mph using 7.4 gallons of fuel per hour. The Moller International website has more details about both light-sport Moller Skycars. Check out the drawing of the single-seat Skycar 100LS whose configuration is quite unusual. See also this YouTube video of a tethered hover test with the full-size Moller Skycar.