Is The Moller Skycar A Fraud? Will I Ever Get My Flying Car?

Moller 200X

A recent comment here reminded me to check in on our options for flying cars, now at least seven years overdue.

It turns out that Moller International, the folks developing the M400 Skycar aerodyne, are accepting deposits:

As a result of the recent successful hovering flights of the M400 Skycar, Moller International is accepting deposits to secure delivery positions for our M400 Skycar until after the Skycar has flown from hover to full aerodynamic flight and returned (transitioning flight). A limited number of delivery positions are available.

List prices go from $500,000 to $1,000,000, depending on what delivery position you’re hoping for, with initial deposits scaled to match.

Problem is, Moller might not be entirely on the up and up. Downside lists the company in its scams section, saying:

For over forty years, Paul Moller, of Davis, California, has been trying to build a flying car. Over the years, he’s been extracting money from investors. Moller has been in trouble with the Securities and Exchange Commission for making “false and misleading statements about the company’s imminent listing on the NYSE and the Nasdaq Stock Market, the projected value of company shares after such listing, and the prospect for Skycar sales and revenue.” He raised $5.1 million by illegally selling unregistered stock to the public over the Internet, according to the SEC complaint.

Forty years? Yeah, turns out they’ve been around a while, though they used to be called “Discojet Corporation.” The 2003 SEC complaint continues:

As of late 2002, MI’s approximately 40 years’ of development has resulted in a prototype Skycar capable of hovering about fifteen feet above the ground.

Fraud or not, they look cool, especially the early disc-shaped ones. And if all Moller did was design them for movies (one did appear in the 1978 film, The Force Beyond), it’d probably be okay. But then, all these flying discs look cool.

Discojet, Discojet Corporation, Moller, Moller International, Moller Skycar, Skycar, aerodyne, fake, flying car, flying disc, fraud, scam

10 thoughts on “Is The Moller Skycar A Fraud? Will I Ever Get My Flying Car?

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  3. It’s a techno-scam. There have been several prototypes, which barely worked. Just well enuf to get more money. he has most recently trotted out the 30-plus year old XM-4 saucer, and is trying to sell it. Again.

    • Early versions were saucer shapped. More recent ones are much more airplane looking.
      The basic concept Moller’s using SEEMS good, but he’s never actually flown even one stinking foot.

  4. 40+ years; millions of dollars; to get a stationary hover at 15 feet?
    Maybe it’ll lead somewhere someday, but probaly not in Moller’s or my lifetime.
    It’s basically a big ego driven scam.

  5. Moller needs to give up before the SEC throws him into federal prison.
    If anyone can develop a viable and reasonably priced “sky car” it’ll be some large airplane manufacturer such as Boeing.
    I’d love to see them working on it. And, they can afford to without scamming people.

  6. Sadly, this is what happens when your dreams are bigger than your resources to make them happen. It takes a lot more money than Moller has ever had just to develop an ordinary car that can actually be licensed and driven, never mind one that flies. It’s what has held up the electric cars all these years. The big auto companies are the only ones who have the money to do it, and they are not interested. The small companies who really want to build electric cars just don’t have the money. Same problem here.

  7. I have to say the Moller is completely viable, and technology is quickly catching up to the idea. Honda is about launch the Honda Jet; in development for the past 10 years, and that’s on established principals of aeronautics and costs $1.5 million each. Much of the manufacturing technology used to build the HondaJet is what the Skycar needs to get off the ground. The computer control systems have only become available in the past few years, and in an any user system; mutltiple very high speed internal network of triple redundant backups. Sub-second (50ms)fail-over between dual systems has just become publicly availble within the past couple of years. Before that, fail-over took 15 – 30 seconds. If you’re coming in for a landing or headed for an obstical and your computer fails, you can’t wait for a backup system to come online.

    As for the post that if anyones going to build a skycar it will be Boeing or the like; dream on. Big companies are the least inovative there are. Small companies like Moller are the inovative forces of the world; many fail but many give us things like the microwave oven. Big companies normally buy the technology after its developed and ready for production.

    My prodiction: the Skycar will fly in five years and be ready for scale production in 10.

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