to operate a flying saucer
Whizzing to work in a flying saucer seems like a
futuristic fantasy reminiscent of George Jetson and his space-age
The 'Jetsons-like' flying machine is the size of a
small car and boasts a top speed of
But that reality may be one step closer after US
company Moller International embarked on a wacky 30-year quest to
build a personal flying pod.
Inspired by the 1960s cartoon series, the
California-based company has just begun production on the initial
six airframes of its M200G Volantor.
Described by its
creators as “the ultimate off-road vehicle", the saucer-shaped
vehicle can take off and land vertically and travel at a maximum
speed of 100mph.
Powered by eight of the company’s rotary
engines, the vehicle can carry two passengers and glide about three
metres above the ground.
Company founder Dr Paul Moller said the vehicle
could travel over any surface, and was as easy to operate as a
“You can speed over rocks, swampland, fences, or
log-infested waterways with ease because you’re not limited by the
surface,” he said.
He said the vehicle's electronics kept the craft
stabilized at no more than 10 feet altitude, which placed the craft
close enough to the ground to obtain extra lift.
"This lets you glide over terrain at 50 mph that
would stop most other vehicles,” Dr Moller said.
The prototype has completed over two hundred flights
with and without a pilot on board.
Air-bags surround occupants in the cockpit, while
the vehicle’s on-board computer system ensures that it does not
enter regulated airspace.
Moller International has not arranged for training
or licensing requirements to operate the vehicle, but is prepared to
offer demonstration sessions at its California base once the vehicle
is ready for market.
The development has created a stir on the internet,
with several UFO websites discussing the merits of the
But with an estimated starting price tag of about
£45,000 - depending on demand – only time will tell if the
travelling public will cash in the family sedan for a more