moller m400 skycar

by carbonboy on March 19, 2011

Moller M400 Skycar

A dream never to become reality – but it did at least hover!

I left a fairly secure job in Los Angeles in 1992 to join Paul Moller in his quest to build a flying car. He had just received an infusion of investment cash from a wealthy Mideastern family (about the same time he brought a new Lexas).

I worked with a team of young engineers and old home-built airplane builders with a goal of “lift-off” set for the fall of 1992. It never happened.

Soon we were ask to work without pay, with the promise that we would be repaid with interest. That worked for a few weeks. But given all of us took a large cut in pay just for the privilege to work there, we were soon without money to pay the rent.

I never cared for Paul, and he likewise for me. He was egotistical and controlling, two qualitites that likely lead to his failure. But he was charismatic enough to charm the money out of investors for decades. How he slept at night – well only he can say.

Actually I can’t claim that he has yet failed. He declared personal bankruptcy in 2010. In March of 2011 I noted that the link to Moller International was bad (i.e. gone). Also the links to his international “distributors” disappeared. I can only assume he was finally done in, yet a news search reveals nothing of late.

I did gain a sense of what it takes to become an entrepreneur. I started Flightline Composite Structures after leaving. And to be fair, he did pay us our back wages with interest – likely with someone else’s money.

When I find out what really went down, I’ll update this page. RIP Skycar!

  • Well the official word is that their “website has been down due to an update and an upgrade to our server system.” That could mean they failed to pay the bill, as both my website’s recent upgrades required no downtime.

    So Moller is back: http://moller.com

    To quote their blog: “As I have said (repeatedly) our next public demonstration flight of the Skycar is to be an untethered, manned flight. We are currently planning for this flight to occur late this year (September or October) given we are able to secure the appropriate level of funding. We are currently talking with the management of an appropriate venue for this event, and hope to have a date set in the next few days.”

    Déjà vu to 1992