by August 9, 2003 0 comments

It might soon streak across your city skyline. But, it’s no bird and it is not Superman, either. It’s a flying car! A car with VTOL or vertical take off and landing.

Generations of auto buffs have reached their graves, waiting for the birth of cars with wings. Now two companies-Moller International of USA and Urban Aeronautics of Israel-say that VTOL cars might actually take off in the future.

Moller hopes that their M400 passenger skycraft will soon ferry you on cross-country trips. The M400 will use GPS signals and onboard computers to zip across the skies on autopilot. All you need to do is to fasten your seatbelt, punch in your destination and then lean back and relax. With 24 microprocessors and 25,000 lines of software code, the M400 hopes to make manual flying a relic of the past. 

Test-flight of the M400 skycar

Moller International

Whew, at 30,000 feet and 600 km per hour, it might be a dizzying affair though onboard computers will do everything to make your trip uneventful.

Urban Aeronautics’ X-Hawk, on the other hand, is an urban vehicle and an advanced design of the CityHawk concept demonstrator that is currently being tested. Its ducted rotors will allow it to be used by emergency services safely near skyscrapers and similar heavily built-up places. Military applications are also on, but under strict wraps.

The M400 from Moller

Moller International

A computer-generated image of the X-Hawk from Urban Aeronautics of Israel

Courtesy: Urban Aeronautics

Now, if only we could get our hands on either one!

Benoy George Thomas

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