Sign of the times? Nobody can deny that, "The times" certainly are changing.
A company called Moller International are putting the finishing touches on a product that’s been thirty years in the making!!
Just check out the specs!!
- M200 Volantor Performance Specifications
- Max speed 100 mph
- Cruise speed 75 mph
- Range 100 miles
- Payload 250 lbs
- Size (Diameter x Height) 10’ x 3’
- Fuel Ethanol/Gasoline
- The M200G Volantor
The following is from the product brochure for one, “M200G.”
The Moller Volantor
Over the past 30+ years Moller International and its predecessor companies have been working on the development of the technologies required for a new class of vehicles called volantors.1 The M200G will be the first of these vehicles, a vertical take off & landing (VTOL) fast, low-cost personal recreational vehicle.
The multipurpose M200G can operate up to 10 feet above any surface: land, water, sand, snow, swamp or grasslands. It can be used like other recreational vehicles, combining the capabilities of a boat, hovercraft, ATV, snowmobile or other off-road vehicle. It also has the hover and vertical take off and landing capabilities of a helicopter and the ability to leap over barriers and other obstacles. Its ducted fans provide lift and propulsion without the dangerous exposed rotor blades and high maintenance costs of rotary-winged aircraft. The vehicle uses state-of-the-art fly-by-wire computer technology to monitor, control and maintain stability of the vehicle, while simultaneously making it simple and easy to operate.
The M200G’s performance is similar to that of a light helicopter, but is safer and potentially less expensive. The vehicle operates within ten feet above ground level. This limitation is imposed by the vehicle’s on-board computer systems to ensure that it does not enter regulated airspace, and thereby eliminates the requirement for extensive governmental oversight for either the construction or operation of the vehicle.
Federal Aviation Authority (FAA) regulations
The M200G may functionally be thought of as a powered-lift aircraft, although it is constrained by its computerized control system to operate in close proximity to the ground. Vehicles operating within this zone are considered “ground effect” vehicles and are not subject to existing Federal
Aviation Authority (FAA) regulations.
The M200G uses multiple thrust-generating ducted fans; each ducted fan is enclosed in a housing and provides thrust under the control of an independent flight control computer.
This arrangement ensures that each fan will be available to provide stability and control during flight, and in the event that a controller, fan or engine fails, the others will maintain the vehicle’s attitude until the M200G can be safely landed.
Sensors that measure angular rate, angular acceleration and attitude are used to determine the precise position and motion of the volantor in relation to the desires of the operator. This sensor information is used to electronically maintain stability and control by automatically adjusting power levels of each engine to decrease or increase local thrust as required.
Moveable vanes mounted under the ducts in a patented configuration deflect the thrust to control the direction of travel: vertical, horizontal, banking, turns, etc. –no ailerons, flaps, nor elevators are needed—the speed of each engine determines the local, instantaneous thrust level while the vanes provide the local, less time-sensitive thrust direction.
A volantor is not operated like traditional fixed or rotary wing aircraft. It has only two hand-operated controls that the operator uses to direct the redundant computer controlled system to carry out his or her desired manoeuvres.
The left hand control twists to select desired operating altitude and moves fore and aft to select rate of climb and descent. The right hand control twists to select direction and moves side to side to provide traverse movement during hover and early transition. This same control moves fore and aft to determine speed and braking.
1222 Research Park Drive
Davis, CA 95618 USA
Tel: (530) 756-5086
Fax: (530) 756-5179
If you imagine what the technology was like thirty years ago then it certainly begs the question of where will it be in another thirty years?