Moller Skycar M400
Moller International / Freedom Motors
Dixon, California, USA
www.moller.com
www.freedom-motors.com

Moller’s Skycar M400 is the 5th generation of Vertical Take-Off and Landing (VTOL) aircraft developed by Moller International. It is the four passenger vehicle in a series of planned 2, 4 and 6 seat models.

The M400 had two forward and two rear tilting ducted engines. It employed ethanol fueled Freedom Motor Rotapower®  engines provided exclusively to Moller. A recent redesign has made the M400 an electric hybrid, with four electric motors while still keeping the Rotapower engines for a total of 720 hp. Its folding wings were also removed. Its length is 6.5 m and a landing footprint of 10.7 m. Cruise speed is 496 km/h with a ceiling of 10,900 m and a cruising range of 1,295 km. Gross weight is 1,089 kg with a payload of 327 kg. The vehicle employs a fly-by-wire computer technology that monitors and maintains stability. Plans include adding an autonomous mode utilizing the highway-in-the-sky (HITS) and automated air traffic control. It is equipped with a parachute. It can carry four passengers.

The M400 has also been designed to travel at low speed for short distances on the ground like a car and is narrow enough to use on roadways.

While the Skycar can be used for urban mobility as an air taxi it is also capable of regional travel as its ethanol use will provide greater range than battery VTOL aircraft. The Moller International website currently states (as of 2019) that, “hybrid design configurations are currently under development”. One article online stated, “The M400 is a hybrid powered by four electric motors and four rotary engines, one each in every nacelle.” There might be plans for an all-electric M400 but we are unable to confirm this from the Moller website or from online articles.

Skycar M400 Characteristics (updated February 2018)

Passengers 4
Emergency Airframe Parachutes Yes
Fuel Type Ethanol
Noise Level at 500ft (Goal) 65 dBA
Dimensions (L x W x H) 21.5′ x 8.5′ x 7.5′ 6.5m x 2.5m x 2.25m
Operational ceiling 36,000 ft 11,000 m
Takeoff and landing area 35 ft dia 11 m dia
Max speed at sea-level 288 kts 533 kph
Cruise max speed at 20,000 ft 268 kts 496 kph
Rate of climb at sea-level 4,800 fpm 1,463 mpm
Endurance 5.9 hours
Disc loading 140 lb/ft2 6 kg/m2
Range @ 131 mph (21.3 mpg): 805 miles @ 210 kph (9 kpl): 1,300 km
Net payload 720 lbs 325 kg
Gross weight 2,400 lbs 1090 kg
Continuous Engine Power (Total) 720 hp 535 kw
Maximum Lift/Drag 12.5

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Tags:

MollerVectored ThrustFlight Testing4 PassengersElectric Hybrid, Piloted