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Wed, Oct 01, 2008

Wanna Buy A Moller Skycar? Really? Well... Now You Can...

Flying Dud Billed As 'Piece Of Aviation History'

Hoping to prove the timeless adage there's a sucker born every minute -- er, that there's a buyer for practically anything -- Moller International announced Tuesday it will offer its M200X for sale on eBay.

"The purchaser will be acquiring a piece of aviation history that is absolutely unique," said company president Paul Moller. "Its development is viewed as the genesis of the Neuera and Firefly models going into production now and planned for sale in mid 2009."

The M200X "volantor1" is billed by Moller as "the first VTOL aircraft of its kind (flying car) to fly successfully." The company claims it "did so repeatedly during the 1980s"... though in reality the ducted-fan-powered development vehicle succeeded only in hovering more-or-less in place, a few feet off the ground, attached to a crane.

Moller claims the Smithsonian Institute had expressed interest in preserving earlier prototypes... "but we felt that our vehicles prior to the M200X were not a significant enough technological advancement to be worthy of being put on display."

Instead, the company feels the M200X is worthy of far greater prestige... by having someone pony up actual cash. Make of that whatever you will... though it's worth noting Moller has put its prototype M400 Skycar up for auction twice before, with bidding falling short of the purported $3.5 million reserve price each time.

"We expect that the historical value of this original prototype will increase substantially as production models of the M200 series go on sale," Moller states.

The on-again, off-again Skycar project has been in development for over 45 years, in one fashion or another, and has reportedly burned through some $200 million in cash. The company was sued in 2003 by the Securities and Exchange Commission, for civil fraud in connection with the sale of unregistered stock, and for making unsubstantiated -- and rather grandiose -- claims about the Skycar's performance.

The auction began September 30. At this writing, nine bidders have stepped forward... with a high bid of $610. Furthermore, according to the auction page "all bidders must provide credit information prior to posting a bid."

FMI: Bid On The Skycar! We Can't Stop You!


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