Saturday, February 14, 2004

I really need one of these

A company called Moller is promoting the M400 Skycar which they expect to have finished in a year or three. It's a VTOL (Vertical Take-Off and Landing) craft that uses a thrust system consisting of fans driven by internal combustion engines. I've heard of fans driven by jet engines and propellers driven by internal combustion engines, but this is the first time I've heard of this combination. They claim a top speed of 380 mph at 20,000 ft, and a payload of 750 lbs.

Now this obviously has a much higher coolness factor than a helicopter, but I wonder if it has any practical advantages. Helicopters can land safely after an engine failure because of autogyration, but this thing would drop like a rock. And I can't believe small fans are as efficient as a big propeller.

UPDATE: (spelling fixed) That's IT, Dave! No more posting directly from the browser where you don't get the benefit of a spell-checker. Next time, you go to bed without your cookie.

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