Skycar® 100 (prototype)
Moller International / Freedom Motors
Dixon, California, USA
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® 100 hybrid-electric one passenger VTOL prototype aircraft
The Skycar® 100 hybrid-electric one passenger VTOL prototype aircraft. The aircraft can have a conventional, hybrid-electric or all-electric power source depending upon the specifications of the customer. The one in the 100 most likely stands for a one passenger aircraft.
The aircraft has an estimated cruise speed at sea level and at 65% power of 232 mph (373 km/h). The maximum cruise speed at sea level is anticipated to be 271 mph (436 km/h). The cruise speed at 25,000 ft (7,620 m) is predicted at 318 mph (511 km/h). On the ground, the speed of the aircraft on a paved road is calculated to be less than 30 mph (less than 48 km/h). The range of the aircraft flying at an economy cruise speed is projected to be 450 miles (651 km). The operational altitude of the aircraft is planned to be 25,000 ft (7,620 m).
The Skycar® 100 has had these former names:
- Skycar® 100X
- Skycar® M150
- Skycar® X150
The empty weight of the aircraft is 675 lb (306 kg), the maximum payload is 225 lb (102 kg) and the maximum takeoff weight is capable of 900 lb (408 kg). The aircraft has four propellers inside of two rotating nacelles. The aircraft has a canopy over the cockpit and has a streamlined carbon fiber composite airframe. Each of the two propeller nacelles have a T-tail and the rear of the fuselage has a vertical stabilizer. The aircraft has retractable tricycle wheeled landing gear. It is unknown if the aircraft made any test flights.
- Aircraft type: Hybrid-electric or all-electric passenger VTOL prototype aircraft
- Piloting: 1 pilot
- Cruise speed (sea level at 65% power): 232 mph (373 km/h)
- Maximum cruise speed (sea level): 271 mph (436 km/h)
- Cruise speed (25,000 ft/7,620 m): 318 mph (511 km/h)
- Ground speed (on a paved road): <30 mph (<48 km/h)
- Range (economic cruise): 450 miles (651 km)
- Operational altitude: 25,000 ft (7,620 m)
- Empty weight: 675 lb (306 kg)
- Maximum payload: 225 lb (102 kg)
- Maximum takeoff weight: 900 lb (408 kg)
- Propellers: 4 propellers in 2 rotating engine/propeller nacelles
- Power source: Hybrid-electric or all-electric power source
- Fuselage: Carbon fiber composite
- Window: Canopy over cockpit
- Tail: Both nacelles have a T-tail and the rear of the fuselage has a vertical stabilizer
- Landing gear: Retractable tricycle wheeled landing gear
- 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.