Sunday, May 3, 2015
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 [email protected] 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

    Breaking barriers: For Prieto, it’s all about hard work

    By Lauren Keene | From Page: A1 | Gallery

     
    Council to hear about drought pricing

    By Dave Ryan | From Page: A1

    Peaceful Baltimore demonstrators praise top prosecutor

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

     
    Nigeria: Nearly 300 freed women, children led to safety

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

     
    For the record

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A2

     
    Graveyard thefts land three Woodlanders behind bars

    By Lauren Keene | From Page: A3

    Downtown altercation leads to injuries

    By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A3

     
    Woman arrested for brandishing knife on overpass

    By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A3

    Yolo DA launches monthly newsletter

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

     
    Can plants talk? UCD prof will answer that question

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A3 | Gallery

    A Scottish setting for local author’s next book

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A3

     
    Free beginner yoga class offered

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

     
    Video discusses surveillance of prostate cancer

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

    NAMI support group meets May 10

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

     
    Dr. G featured on the radio

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

    Fee proposed on rail cars that haul oil, other flammables

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A4 | Gallery

     
    Indoor Fun Fly comes to Woodland

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

     
    Internships move UCD doctoral students beyond academia

    By Julia Ann Easley | From Page: A5 | Gallery

    Make Mom a warm vanilla sugar scrub

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A6

     
    The secret to Mother’s Day gifting success: Give time, not stuff

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A6

    Letter book is series of collected missives thanking Mom

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

     
    If your mom fancies something fancy, consider a tea party

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

    Out of Africa and back to Davis: James Carey will give special presentation

    By Kathy Keatley Garvey | From Page: A9 | Gallery

     
    Big Day of Giving makes philanthropy easy

    By Tanya Perez | From Page: A10 | Gallery

    Tuleyome Tales: How are a snake and a mushroom alike?

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A12 | Gallery

     
    Tuleyome hosts Snow Mountain camping trip

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A12 | Gallery

    .

    Forum

    End of life doesn’t mean life must end

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: B4 | Gallery

     
    Advancing education for California’s former foster youths

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: B4

    With sincere gratitude

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: B4

     
    A wonderful day of service

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: B4

    Please help Baltimore

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: B4

     
    Eyewitness to the ‘fall’ of Vietnam: It was not a bloodbath

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: B5 | Gallery

    He can’t give it up

    By Creators Syndicate | From Page: B6

     
     
    Dangers from prescription pills

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: B6

    .

    Sports

    UCD softball splits with Titans

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    Trifecta of Devil teams open playoffs Tuesday

    By Evan Ream | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    Defending champ DHS clinches a baseball playoff berth

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

    Making memories at Aggie Stadium

    By Wayne Tilcock | From Page: B3 | Gallery

     
    Sports briefs: DHS boys win to reach lacrosse playoffs

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B3 | Gallery

    UCD roundup: Aggie women speed past Hornets

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B12 | Gallery

     
    Pro baseball roundup: Hudson pitches Giants past Angels

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B12

    .

    Features

    .

    Arts

    .

    Business

    Arcadia partners on soybean trait to improve yield

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A8

     
    Marrone opens new greenhouse

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A8

     
    New firm helps students on path to college

    By Wendy Weitzel | From Page: A8

    Yolo County real estate sales

    By Zoe Juanitas | From Page: A8

     
    .

    Obituaries

    .

    Comics

    Comics: Sunday, May 3, 2015

    By Creator | From Page: B8