Stories tagged float

Aug
10
2007

Nice hovercraft, dork: Get a flying saucer, then we'll talk.    (photo by Mark Bridge on Flicker.com)
Nice hovercraft, dork: Get a flying saucer, then we'll talk. (photo by Mark Bridge on Flicker.com)
Moller International has finished development on a flying saucer-like hovercraft, called the M200G.

The M200G is held aloft by eight small rotary engines, and is capable of carrying a payload of about 250 pounds. The craft is stabilized by an on-board computer system, and is piloted using a joystick. Although the vehicle could potentially fly much higher, its computer system limits the maximum altitude to 10 feet. This way, anyone who has $90,000, but no pilot’s license can still legally fly the M200G.

The M200G conveniently burns either gasoline or a mixture of ethanol and water, although it isn’t frighteningly fuel-efficient – it can travel at 50mph for about an hour, and during that time it will use 40 gallons of fuel (that’s 1.25 mpg). Also, the hovercraft emits approximately 85 decibels of sound while operating, which is about the same as a freight train running at high speed.

When asked who would likely purchase such a vehicle, a Moller spokesman gave the peculiar answer, “I don’t know,” but added the probably people who are unable to access and use land they already own - where the terrain would be prohibitive to conventional hovercrafts - might be interested.

Moller’s imagination for potential markets is woefully limited. I think the true future of the M200G lies with socialites, pro athletes, and pop stars. They certainly can afford their own flying saucers, and it seems like the sort of thing a lot of celebrities would be in to. Some of your pro football players might be slightly out of the weight range, but I for one love the idea of, say, Lindsay Lohan hovering down Hollywood Boulevard at about shoulder height in her own M200G. She could call it “Mean Girl,” or “The Decapitator.” I’m just throwing ideas out, but I can see potential there. And if there are any DUI loopholes for flying saucers, I’m sure it could be a hot seller in that crowd.

Man, why didn’t I invent this thing?

An article on the M200G.