Thursday, December 18, 2014
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

Fundraising effort may produce first manned demonstration of Skycar

MollerW

Paul Moller talks about his M400 Skycar in November 2011 at the Davis warehouse and museum that house his inventions. Fred Gladdis/Enterprise photo

By
From page A1 | November 07, 2013 |

Paul Moller, whose Davis company is developing a vertical takeoff and landing vehicle, is offering a “chance to make aviation history” to supporters by allowing them to participate in test flights of his prototype aircraft.

It’s one of the potential perks for donating to the fundraising campaign that Moller International is launching on the website Indiegogo, for which Moller announced plans on Tuesday. His company is seeking $958,000 in financial backing through the effort.

Those who donate $5,000 will earn an opportunity to fly in the Skycar; those who give $15,000 could actually pilot it (pending clearance by the Federal Aviation Administration).

There are only a handful of pilots in the world with flight time in powered-lift aircraft of any type, Moller explained, and there are none with any experience in powered-lift aircraft of this type.

Developing the Skycar — Moller International’s futuristic vertical takeoff and landing aircraft — has been a 30-year-long labor of love for Moller. The company acquired the assets of the Outboard Marine Corp. two years after its formation, allowing it to produce and sell its own Rotapower rotary engine through a partner company.

Moller International issued a news release on Friday reporting that its signature engine reached a milestone in its horsepower output. Moller said the Indiegogo funds would be used specifically for installation of the new, higher-power Rotapower engines in time for its first free flight with a pilot aboard.

Thus far, the Skycar has performed only a couple of low-flying and tethered demonstrations. In 1989, the company did a controlled flight of another vehicle model, the disc-shaped Neuera volantor, at its Davis headquarters at 1222 Research Park Drive.

To help accrue the funds required to finalize the Skycar’s modifications and get it off the ground, Moller said three separate business entities have committed to matching a portion of funds raised out of the $958,000 goal.

“We’ve seen crowdfunding being used for a variety of unique reasons,” he added. “But this is the first time that the public will be able to participate in the test and historic first flight of a prototype aircraft. We’re making history together — our supporters, our sponsors and us.”

The crowdfunding effort will continue until Jan. 4. The progress of the campaign, which brought in approximately $5,000 the first day, can be tracked at indiegogo.com/projects/actually-fly-the-m400x-skycar-into-history.

If the campaign is successful, Moller is expecting the test flight to take place next June. The company already has named Ed De Reyes as the chief test pilot. The Los Angeles resident has experience in flight and ground testing of aircraft.

— Reach Brett Johnson at bjohnson@davisenterprise.net or 530-747-8052. Follow him on Twitter at @ReporterBrett

Comments

comments

  • Recent Posts

  • Enter your email address to subscribe to this newspaper and receive notifications of new articles by email.

  • .

    News

    City plans signs to improve flow on Fifth Street

    By Dave Ryan | From Page: A1 | Gallery

     
    Former foster youths aided by UCD’s Guardian programs

    By Sarah Colwell | From Page: A1 | Gallery

     
    Rain Recyclers saves water for another day

    By Elizabeth Case | From Page: A1 | Gallery

    U.S., Cuba patch torn relations in historic accord

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2 | Gallery

     
    State gets more rain, big mudslide

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

     
    Boston bombing suspect in court for first time since 2013

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

    Nominate teens for Golden Heart awards

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

     
    Journalist will join post-film discussion Thursday

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

    City offices will take a winter break

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

     
    Konditorei presents free holiday concert

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

    Supplies collected for victims of abuse

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

     
    New technology chief will join McNaughton Newspapers

    By Tanya Perez | From Page: A3 | Gallery

    Feds will discuss Berryessa Snow Mountain protection

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

     
    ‘Longest Night’ service Saturday

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

    Yolo County needs a few good advisers

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

     
    Per Capita Davis: Time to stop fooling around

    By John Mott-Smith | From Page: A4

     
    NAMI-Yolo offers free mental health education program

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

    .

    Forum

    Disagreement on mother’s care

    By Creators Syndicate | From Page: B5

     
    Remember that all lives matter

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

    Pollution from electric vehicles

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

     
    Marovich is a brilliant diplomat

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A6

    And a jolly time was had by all

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A6 | Gallery

     
    Tom Meyer cartoon

    By Debbie Davis | From Page: A6

    .

    Sports

    On skiing: What to know when buying new skis

    By Jeffrey Weidel | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    Devil boys host Les Curry beginning Thursday

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

    UCD women gear up for second half of swim season

    By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    Aggie men begin 4-game road trip at Air Force

    By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

    Youth roundup: DBC Juniors rider Kanz wins a cyclocross event

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B2 | Gallery

     
    .

    Features

    College Corner: How does applying for financial aid work?

    By Jennifer Borenstein | From Page: B3

     
    What’s happening

    By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: B3

     
    Anniversary: Barbara and Jan Carter

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A8

    Something growing in the mailbox

    By Don Shor | From Page: A8 | Gallery

     
    .

    Arts

    Sing and dance along to Cold Shot at Froggy’s

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A7 | Gallery

     
    Point of Brew: Recollections of Christmases past

    By Michael Lewis | From Page: A7

    Golden Bough brings Irish holidays to The Palms

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A7 | Gallery

     
    Come ‘Home for the Holidays’ and benefit school arts

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A7

    .

    Business

    .

    Obituaries

    Rena Sylvia Smilkstein

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

     
    .

    Comics

    Comics: Thursday, December 18, 2014

    By Creator | From Page: B6

     
    .

    Last Minute Gift Guide

    Young phenoms make YouTube success look like child’s play

    By The Associated Press | From Page: LMG1

    Classic or contemporary, it’s all holiday music to our ears

    By The Associated Press | From Page: LMG2

    Teen gifts: ideas for hard-to-buy-for big kids

    By The Associated Press | From Page: LMG3

    Gift ideas for the health-conscious

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: LMG6

    Hall of Fame proudly puts these toys on the shelf

    By The Associated Press | From Page: LMG7