Moller International was founded in 1983 as a spin-off of Moller Corporation to continue to design, develop and manufacture conventional and hybrid-electric vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) passenger and cargo aircraft. Moller's aircraft being manufactured for use in the nascent advanced air mobility (AAM) industry. The company is designing aircraft that are safe, efficient, affordable, easy-to-use as automobiles, low noise, low emissions, low fuel usage, low purchase price, low operating cost and can use existing transportation networks. The company is headquartered in Dixon, California, USA.
The company has developed and integrated novel technologies required for small, powered-lift VTOL aircraft. These include electronic stabilization and control systems, efficient ducted fan designs, thrust vectoring mechanisms and aerodynamically stable composite airframe structures. The single most significant spin-off technology is the Rotapower engine, a Wankel rotary engine. This engine is now produced and marketed by Freedom Motors.
Historically, the company has primarily focused on using petroleum fueled engines for their power source of their aircraft designs and prototypes. Moller International confirmed in June 2023, they are now designing all their aircraft as hybrid-electric VTOL passenger and cargo aircraft. At the same time, it was also confirmed with Moller that any of their past and current aircraft can be designed and manufactured as hybrid-electric VTOL or all-electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) aircraft.
Skycar® M200 hybrid-electric or all electric VTOL passenger prototype aircraft
The Skycar® M200 is a two passenger hybrid-electric or all-electric VTOL prototype aircraft. The aircraft was originally called the Merlin 200 Aerobot, according to an advertisement a June 1987 Popular Mechanics magazine on page 157. It appears the name Merlin was reduced to the letter M and the Aerobot name was removed. The 1987 Popular Mechanics advertisement also provides a few of the aircraft's specifications such has having a maximum speed of 403 mph (648 km/h) and has a range of 1,050 miles (1,689 km).
The Skycar® M200 was formerly named:
Merlin 200 Aerobot
The aircraft boasted six ducted fans and were originally powered by conventional engines. However, by March 2018, Moller International stated the Skycar® M200 would now hybrid-electric and could also have an all electric power source if specified by a customer. The aircraft has a canopy over cockpit, a carbon fiber composite airframe and has retractable tricycle wheeled landing gear. While the pictures show a full-scale aircraft, it is unknown if the aircraft was ever flown.
Aircraft type: Hybrid-electric or all-electric VTOL prototype
Piloting: 1 pilot (autonomous piloting when the technology because available)
Capacity: 1 passenger
Maximum speed: 403 mph (648 km/h)
Range: 1,050 miles (1,689 km)
Maximum takeoff weight:
Propellers: 6 ducted fans
Engines/Electric motors: 6 engines or 6 electric motors depending upon the customer demands.
Safety features: Distributed Electric Propulsion (DEP), provides safety through redundancy for its passengers and/or cargo. DEP means having multiple propellers (or ducted fans) and motors on the aircraft so if one or more propellers (ducted fans) or motors fail, the other working propellers (or ducted fans) and motors can safely land the aircraft. There are also redundancies of critical components in the sub-systems of the aircraft. There is a whole aircraft emergency ballistic parachute in case of a power failure.
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