A US company has begun production of a flying, two-passenger, saucer-shaped vehicle that is designed to take off and land vertically. Inventor Paul Moller describes the M200G as the 'ultimate off-road vehicle'.
The vehicle is the size of a small car, and is powered by eight of the company's rotary engines. It is intended to fly up to 3.5 meters above the ground: an on-board computer system prevents it from entering regulated airspace.
'It's not a hovercraft, although its operation is just as easy. You can speed over rocks, swampland, fences, or log-infested waterways with ease because you're not limited by the surface,' says Dr Moller.
Hovering so close to the ground provides the vehicle with extra lift. 'This lets you glide over terrain at 50 miles per hour [80.4 kilometers per hour] that would stop most other vehicles,' says Dr Moller.
Production of an initial six airframes began in June. Depending upon engine production volume, the M200G could be priced around $90,000.
The price is pushed upwards by the cost of the rotary engines, and Moller International is currently working with partners to produce the engine for other applications so that cost benefits from high volume production are possible.
The prototype has already completed over 200 flights, some with, and some without a pilot.
Moller International is accepting deposits by those wishing to reserve an M200G.
For further information and to see pictures, visit www.moller.com.