Source: The Mercury, 23 March, 2001, p.5

Skycar set for flights of fancy


TRAVELLING to work like 
George Jetson could be only 
a few years away, says the 
inventor of the revolutionary 
   Dr Paul Moller unveiled his life's 
work at the Big Boys Toys 
exhibition in Sydney yesterday. 
   The US inventor spent almost 40 
years and close to $US200 million 
($A406.09 million) developing the 
machine, a sort of flying car he 
described as "the mechanical 
version of the hummingbird." 
   "I think it is reasonable to 
believe that 25% of the population 
will be using the Skycar within 10 
years, and that 90% will be using it 
within 25 years," Dr Moller said. 
   He said the Skycar would offer 
twice the cruise speed of a light 
helicopter, with a vertical take-off 
and landing capability. 
   Its rotary engines would run on 
standard automotive fuel and be 
less expensive to buy and run. 
   "Our purpose is to develop and 
put into use personal transport 
vehicles that are as safe, efficient 
affordable and easy-to-use as 
automobiles ... not constrained by 
existing transportation networks," 
Dr Moller said. 
   While the Skycar had strong 
appeal as a commuter vehicle, the 
first major user would be the US 
military, which had already 
successfully tested it, he said. 
   "I believe a country the size of 
Australia could see the use of such a 
revolutionary transportation 
alternative for coastal patrol, 
police, fire, search and rescue, even 
express parcel delivery," he said. 
   He added there would be little 
conflict with existing airlines, 
because the Skycar would not fly 
above 8000m at any time. 
   The Big Boys Toys exhibition 
opened yesterday at Darling 
Harbour. Managing director Gary 
Kendall said he expected 60,000 
people through the doors this 
He said the show was "bigger 
and better" than last year, offering 
15,000sq m of "the stuff dreams are 
made of". 
   Two-hundred companies will 
exhibit products such as motor 
yachts, racing cars, performance 
and classic cars, motorcycles, 
aircraft, hovercraft and "get-up- 
and go sporting equipment". 

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