Moller International

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Moller_Int_Sign.JPGSign as of 2007

1222 Research Park Drive

[WWW]Current stock price

Moller International, founded by UC Davis professor emeritus Paul Moller, is a local company devoted to making a flying car. The company claims to have begun development on a feasible, personally affordable, personal vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) vehicle — the [wikipedia]M400 Skycar. It is interesting to note that the Skycar's Rotapower engines may be able to burn a variety of fuels, and is expected to be typically fueled with alcohol if the vehicle is ever produced (initial MSRP $1,000,000+). The Skycar is predicted to travel five times faster than most automobiles! The company originally started when Moller began marketing car and motorcycle exhaust systems called [WWW]SuperTrapp.

  1. Photos
  2. Media and Public Appearances
    1. 1974
    2. 1998
    3. 2001
    4. 2003
    5. 2005
    6. 2006
    7. 2007
    8. 2008
    9. 2009
    10. 2010
    11. 2011
    12. 2013
  3. But is it for real?
    1. 35 Years of Missed Production Dates
    2. Track switching
    3. SEC Fraud Suit
    4. Bankruptcy for Paul Moller - is the company far behind?
    5. Some Say Yes
    6. Intellectual Property


Moller_530_Series.JPGAn OMC-based 530 Series Rotapower(r) Engine Block

Moller_Windtunnel.JPGTheir windtunnel with a model skycar

Moller_M200X.JPGThe M200X without its canopy and some aerobot mock-ups in the background

Moller_400_Skycar.JPGThe current of iteration of the non-flying M400 Skycar Moller_400_Nacelle.JPGA nacelle with both engines mounted

Media and Public Appearances

Moller International gives free public tours the third Thursday of every month from 2:30PM-4:00PM. Just arrive at the front door before 2:30PM. The media contact is Bruce Calkins, When I went on the tour, there were about 15 people including families, farmers, etc. The tour wound through every part of the building, there was no "off limits" area. I was impressed by the openness of the company. There are many historical things to see, so the feeling is a bit like visiting a museum. We walked past Paul in a hallway, who was absorbed in researching something on the web; nobody bothered him. A worthwhile tour to go on, once.








For_Lease.JPGFor Lease sign, photo taken May 9th





SASPAC Member Moller International is undertaking a campaign to work with sponsors who have an interest in participating in this event. If you own, work for, or work with a company that could benefit from significant international press exposure, please contact our marketing director, Mr. Jah Mackay at (925) 698 6525 to discuss various possibilities. Individuals can also participate in a unique way in this event by joining the newly formed “Skycar Advocates Supporting Personal Airborne Commuting” or SASPAC. As a member of SASPAC, you will receive the following:

The fee to become a SASPAC member is $5,000. If you are interested in joining SASPAC, please contact Jah, or Bruce at (530) 756-5086.

Hi Bruce,
We are nearing the 4 week point, are there invites going out to stock holders as originally planned or will there be a delay?
Everyone wants to know.

His answer>>>>>>>>>>>>

Hi Jeff. Thanks. We'll be in touch.

(contributor's comment: with only 34 days until demo flight, this sort of answer is doing nothing to calm the fears of Moller investors that the demo will NOT happen)


But is it for real?

skycar.jpgPress-release image of M400

Over the years there has been an increasing number of people who believe Moller is running a smoke and mirrors scam. He has been two years from releasing a commercial model for the past thirty-seven years. Enough people have invested in his concept and become disillusioned to hold informal "Burned by Moller" conventions. The only flights his "400 miles an hour on normal gas" vehicles have ever taken are short hover-only flights of less than three minutes, always tethered to the ground, and always for groups of shareholders or potential investors. The military has looked into Moller's craft and declined to invest or purchase due to the inability of Moller to demonstrate any practical level of performance, but have done so with several other "personal flying craft" companies. In recent years, he made himself the President of [WWW]Quail Oaks Ranch, a company that sells Organic Almond Butter. Moller now touts it as a way to live longer, pitching it in a pseudo-scientific slick salesman manner. He often mentions it in public appearances about the Skycar, and sends jars to reporters.

In fact, the Ranch company seems to be run through Moller. From their website, If you call to place an order during business hours the person answering the phone will say “Moller International”. Please tell the person who answers that you are calling about almond butter and they will transfer you. If you call after hours, when you hear the prompt “You have reached Moller International…” please dial extension 11. We will return your call ASAP during business hours. If you place an order over the phone please also note that the charge on your credit card will read “Moller International”. The company email is also "".

Other than shares in his company, the only things you have ever been able to purchase from Moller are kitsch-like models, license plate frames, and glossy photos of his mockup M400.

35 Years of Missed Production Dates

In [WWW]October 1974, Moller told prospective investors that they were on track for a December 1976 full scale production date.

In March 2000, his website stated "When will M400 be available? Limited numbers are expected to be available within the next two years. These will be used for marketing demonstrators, special sales, and military applications. A FAA certified model is more than four years away".

In June 2006, his website stated "When will M400 be available? Limited numbers are expected to be available within the next three years. These will be used for marketing demonstrators, special sales, and military applications. A FAA certified model is more than four years away".

In July2008 they indicated in press releases that they were "on track" to build 40 M200G ground-effect vehicles in 2009, and that they already has several airframes and the design of a new landing gear completed.
see [WWW]
So far in 2009 there has been no mention of this activity. It seems they are going to miss another promised date of production.

In both Moller's public comments, and his printed material, there is a consistent pattern of the vehicle in question always being about 4 years away from production, or some form of FAA certification.

The most recent missed date is one for an engine production deal. In early 2009, the Rotapower website was stating that "an Historical agreement" was about to be reached with PriMon AG, a Swiss firm. By late July, the notice had quietly been pulled down, and the site was once again indicating that Freedom Motors is seeking a venture partner for engine production. In the past, Moller has repeatedly been on the verge of an engine deal, which subsequently never materialized. Given the actual amount of work to be done in both development of the engines and the production processes, it seems unlikely that a venture partner will be found. The site has a posting called " Comments on Rotapower engine" where a lot of old things have been brought together, many with out date info. For example they are still talking about an [WWW]engine deal with Madami International for use of an engine in an ATV called the X-Model. (Madami has been an importer/distributor of low cost ATV's and the like).[WWW] This "deal" and the press release cited are now (in 2009) six years old. This is an example of Moller's "soft" misrepresentation of the state of development ans/or the performance of his technologies. Madami has no active website, [WWW] takes you to an "under construction" placeholder site. Google also lists [WWW] That site seems like a dead end with no info about any type of off-road vehicle, let alone the rotapower-powered "X Model".

By September 2010, all of the above links to Madami, etc. had gone dead.

In August of 2009, they announced plans to build one "Firefly" fire rescue vehicle, while admitting they do not have the funds to complete it. All references to the production in 2009 of forty of the M200G ("Neuera" or "Jetson") model have disappeared. Given the Firefly's need for larger, dual rotor engines, it too, will likely never be built, or at least never finished and flown. Here again we see the track-switching tactic used by Moller over the years. Many grand-sounding projects are launched, but none are ever completed.

One year later, in August 2010, no progress had been announced on any of the M200-type vehicles.

The company had indicated that it had several possible engine production arrangements lined up in China and Korea, but as of mid-September 2010, nothing had materialized.

They also indicated to their shareholders that the new redundant flight control hardware, which was previously slated to be bench tested in early 2009, and flight tested in an M200G late the same year, was now delayed another year. They now say it will be tested this year, funds permitting. The 200G vehicle in which the flight control system was to be tested never got much beyond the fabrication of a composite airframe, actually built in 2009.

They state in other communications that the M400 is being re-fitted with nearly complete dual-rotor engines. With these installed, and the new flight control system working, the vehicle will finally be in its intended configuration. At that time, the company intends to flight test it again, in late 2010 or 2011. This will be the point where it will be seen if the vehicle can meet it rather lofty promised specifications in terms of payload, range, and fuel consumption. On April 18, 2011 a Moller [WWW]press release announced a "scheduled test flight" of the M400 on October 11, 2011 to take place in Vacaville, CA. It also states Moller is seeking to sell advertising at this event, which informed sources say will cost "sponsors" (as Moller International now calls them) in the millions of dollars each.

The public demonstration flight did not take place. Moller offered some excuses along the lines of having too many people wanting to come and watch. In fact the aircraft was not ready for flight, because the engines were not finished. The actual status of the on-board electronics is also unclear. Now, some 4 months later, there has been no mention of any new date for such a demonstration.

Track switching

In 2010 Moller International offered 6 of its Neuera saucers and 6 of its M-150 Skycars for sale. Actually they offered to take deposits. Only the saucer vehicle has actually flown. The M-150 is only a mockup, built for publicity. It has only two nacelles, so it would be rather hard to stabilize in pitch. No model or full size-vehicle of this type has ever been built or flown by Moller. Lacking the engines to actually power either of the vehicles, neither is likely to ever fly. Also, Moller's track record is highly unlikely to attract depositors.
2012 - In early 2012 the Moller site again introduced two new designs the 100 LS and 200 LS. Both are to be electric-gas hybrid vehicles. Moller now claims that these vehicles better suit the present market. One rendering looks very much like the M-150 mockup, with a bit more wing area added. None of these vehicles has been built, and the claimed specifications are at the very least, questionable. He has added a non-existent 85 HP electric motor to the two rotor Wankel engine he also doesn't have.

This is a long-standing pattern with Moller, as every year or so he promises to be ready to produce some sort of vehicle, then rolls out a different design. Thus nothing is ever finished, much less put through the rigorous testing required for a certificated aircraft.

SEC Fraud Suit

On February 2003, the Securities and Exchange Commission settled a [WWW]civil fraud action against Paul S. Moller ("Moller") and Moller International, Inc. From the SEC website:

"The Commission's complaint alleges that Moller International, a California company, and Moller began selling the unregistered shares of stock directly to the public via the Internet, raising approximately $5.1 million from more than 500 investors nationwide. The company was supposedly engaged in the development of a revolutionary personal aircraft, dubbed "the Skycar," that would allow a person to travel at speeds over 400 miles-per-hour above roadways for about the same price as a luxury automobile. Moller, age 64, the company's founder, chief executive office and president, made false and misleading statements about the company's imminent listing on the NYSE and the Nasdaq Stock Market, the projected value of company shares after such listing, and the prospect for Skycar sales and revenue. In September 2001, the company filed a fraudulent registration statement with the Commission that exaggerated the true scope of patents the company held for the Skycar. During the Commission's investigation, the company belatedly cooperated with the staff in an attempt to bring it into compliance with the securities laws and to resolve all outstanding enforcement issues."

The [WWW]complaint listed several False and Misleading Statements and Omissions made by the company, including:

"In reality, Moller International had virtually no revenue, had never sold a single Skycar, and never came close to meeting the stringent initial listing requirements for either the Nasdaq or the NYSE ... the Skycar was and still is a very early developmental-stage prototype that has no meaningful flight testing, proof of aeronautical feasibility, or proven commercial viability."

Moller agreed to pay a civil penalty in the amount of $50,000 and to the entry of a permanent injunction to settle the action.


Bankruptcy for Paul Moller - is the company far behind?

In May, Paul Moller filed for personal Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in the Eastern District of the US Bankruptcy Court.
This is not for his company, but for him personally. He listed assets of $46 million, and debts of $6 million.
Moller has been personally financing the limited on-going activities at Moller International in recent years, due to a lack of investment capital.
Given the overall situation, his company may also suffer the same fate. In their last few financial statements, they express doubt that M.I. will be able to continue as a going concern.

Some Say Yes

In response to the above-mentioned SEC complaint, Dr. Moller explains the case to [WWW]The Wall Street Transcript:

See [WWW] for the story of one investor/vehicle depositor who DID want his money back.

Any small company that has faced off against the SEC will tell you that you do not fight this powerful government agency. You accept a fine to settle. You don’t accept guilt. You’re not claimed to be guilty, but a fine is a way of getting rid of something that you could never win if you really try to defend yourself. If anybody has experienced a fight with the IRS or the SEC, they learn quickly enough that, as a small company, you don’t have the government resources to legally fight it. The few who try always lose.

In the SEC's repost above, they state that "The company was supposedly engaged in the development of a revolutionary personal aircraft, dubbed "the Skycar," that would allow a person to travel at speeds over 400 miles-per-hour above roadways for about the same price as a luxury automobile..."

The Skycar exists and has flown on many occasions, although only unmanned and unloaded, on a safety tether, with single rotor OMC-based engines running on methanol. These engines produce about half the horsepower actually called for by a vehicle like the Skycar. The skycar has not flown now (in 2010) for seven years. If Moller ever develops the intended engine for the Skycar, then it may be possible to build a real-world version. Due to weight and power limitations, the Skycar has not been outfitted with all of the required instrumentation and equipment required to support communication, navigation, and passenger comfort. Even with the engines in hand, a great deal of other work remains to be done before the Skycar can be freely flown in US airspace, even as an experimental class aircraft.

The SEC is not the FAA, so they're only looking at the sale of stocks by Moller, not the validity of the Skycar.
The SEC did look at the technical performance, or lack of it in Moller's case, because he had misrepresented his company's capabilities, and the capabilities of the aircraft, in order to sell illegal, unregistered stock.

The earlier versions of the Skycar, the M200x, flew successfully for over 200+ flights, both in VTOL mode and in level flight. Only a few other aircraft have accomplished that: the Harrier AV-8, the Osprey, the BA609, and the F-35B Joint Strike Fighter (JSF). That puts Moller in some very heady company.

Note - the M200x has only flown on a tether attached to a crane. The actual number of test flights was actually closer to 50, with most conducted without any plan or data acquisition, according to sources close to the Moller operation at that time. Most of the tests were under 60 seconds in duration. This means the "level flights" Moller refers to were only 20 to 30 feet in length, at less than 5 mph. This doesn't exactly put Moller in the "heady company" of great aircraft like the AV-8B.

Intellectual Property

According to the [WWW]United States Patent and Trademark Office, Moller International is the assignee (rights owner) of three design patents and six utility patents. A "design patent" is a patent that is granted on the ornamental design of a functional item that has practical utility. A design patent prevents a competitor from creating an item that looks substantially similar, but does not protect the functionality of the item. A "utility patent" protects the use of or functionality of an invention. They also have several patents that are registered in other countries.

Moller International - Patents





Design Patents
[WWW]D498,201 Vertical takeoff and landing aircraft 2003-12-05 2004-11-09
[WWW]D312,068 Vertical take-off and landing aircraft 1988-04-14 1990-11-13
[WWW]D292,194 Airborne Vehicle 1985-03-19 1987-10-06
Utility Patents
[WWW]6,450,445 Stabilizing control apparatus for robotic or remotely controlled flying platform 2001-10-12 2002-09-17
[WWW]6,325,603 Charged cooled rotary engine 2000-06-24 2001-12-04
[WWW]6,164,942 Rotary engine having enhanced charge cooling and lubrication 1998-12-17 2000-12-26
[WWW]5,413,877 Combination thermal barrier and wear coating for internal combustion engines 1992-09-22 1995-05-09
[WWW]5,115,996 VTOL aircraft 1990-01-31 1992-05-26
[WWW]4,795,111 Robotic or remotely controlled flying platform 1987-02-17 1989-01-03

Moller_International.jpgolder picture of their sign


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One of my friends worked for Moller International a handfull of years ago, they are very protective of any trade secrets. —StevenDaubert

2007-03-03 22:25:03   "What is SDI flight systems?" Good question. [WWW] resolves to a placeholder-coming soon message. A whois lookup resolves to a John Swope of [WWW], a maker of odd little robots in Sacramento. It's a strange world —GrumpyoldGeek Sept 2010 - the link to SDI still takes you to the same placeholder site.

Just curiously, what does personally affordable mean? I cannot personally afford one, I am sure someone like Bill Gates could, where is the line to be drawn. Also helicopters are both VTOL, and significantly more 'personally affordable' than this. If I remember my history correctly, as far as VTOL planes go, this is not the first nor does it seem to be in actual production, does that mean it is economically feasible? It is a cool car though, just to say. ~Users/DavePoole 28th of March, 2007.

2007-03-27 11:12:28   I think it would be helpful if you could link the transcript to a webpage or uploaded document. —SteveOstrowski

2007-03-27 10:12:16   No idea was ever invented and perfected at the same time. Dr. Moller is a genius. His M200x has flown over 200 flights successfully. Tethers are neccesary because of insurance reasons and because he's flying within the city limits of Davis.

I have yet to find any reference to a "burned by moller" meeting seems to only appear here. Odd. I'm not toot'ing Mollers horn, he still has to get a sellable product, but it looks like someone is out to bash Moller rather than present the facts. —EllasBates

One of Moller's biggest problems is his lack of the fundamentals he would have gotten by taking all of those math and physics courses as an undergrad. The repeated failures of several of his early designs are evidence that he could not or did not do even the simple calculations to determine the required horsepower. He also did not think a stabilization system was necessary.
XM-2 - underpowered and without stabilization - wobbled around in ground effect, but not controllable.
XM-3 - two versions of a disk-fan vehicle. Had 8 go-kart engines, and no mechanism to counter main fan torque. Did not fly in either version.
XM-4 - First version (after turbojet power idea was abandoned) has 25HP Fichtel-Sachs rotary engines, and no stabilization system. Not enough power to fly, amd would have been uncontrollable without artificial stabilization. Second version had 50 HP OMC rotaries, and stabilization. it flew.

2007-03-29 09:32:08   Above, moller answers one questions, The Skycar exists and has flown on many occasions, I remember at one stock meeting he attempted to fly it(without a man onboard) and it was so out of control that the safety crane had to pull it up. Of course after spraying us all with smelly exhaust gases and grass clippings, I would'nt consider that flying. —NotImpressed

2007-03-29 09:48:30   20 patents means very little. It matters what the content of those patents are. I would also say that more than a few aircraft have had VTOL capabilities. I know of several from my time at NASA that are not included. Also, the main reason there are few probably has to do with required capabilities rather than difficulty of design. —DavidGrundler

2007-03-29 10:21:11   Being discussed on slashdot right now, get there while supplies (mod points) last! [WWW]

2007-03-29 12:07:13   It seems like they just can't quite finish it, some new change-engines-wings or they need more funding. Moller has said they have spent over a hundred million dollars on it-thats $275,000 every month for thirty years, funding should not be an issue. —NotImpressed

2007-03-30 22:42:43   Since you call him a genius you must have vested with him too, I am suprised at the updates to this page-where did this info come from? —NotImpressed

2007-03-31 09:24:43   I love my skycar. However, the warp speed doesn't work predictably. Sometimes, I end up in [WWW]Kenya. Not that there's anything wrong with Kenya, but I was just trying to go to the grocery store. —KaiTing

2007-03-31 21:56:34   Kia, you probably din't put the flux capacitor in the right way-reverse it then you can get to your proper location. —NotImpressed

2007-04-19 20:50:56   Moller isn't alone in the quest to build a flying car. [WWW]Two guys in Texas are working on it as well. —JasonAller

2007-04-20 08:14:41   As is Robin Haynes from Auburn, who's working on the [WWW]Haynes Aero Skyblazer. It's not VTOL, but has retractable wings. —MattJurach

2007-05-06 20:03:31   Jason-man you get around. Its nice that you support Moller and all, but you really should let the comments be as they were. Do you guys always censor all the comments-not a true Wiki to me. And please don't show my URL address again, when I signed on I thought it was secure. But you guys run the show-so I doubt you will hear from me again. —NotImpressed

2007-05-08 20:05:14   Karl, Thankyou-I would never try to soley control the wiki content, however I didn't think my comments were to produce a grotesgue effect or satirize the issue. I do appreciate your comments and will try to stick to the subject matter, do you know what happened to the SDI sign on the Moller Sign? —NotImpressed

2009-04-29 10:52:22   Regarding the mystery of the missing sign, the original SDI Flight Systems sign was stolen, and rather than simply replace it we elected to redesign the sign, replacing the wooden one with a new “tombstone” style sign which identifies Moller International, Freedom Motors and SDI Flight Systems as occupants of the facility. I believe this was completed in early 2008. SDI Flight Systems is a subcontractor of MI's as well as a tenant. —brucecalkins

The new sign photo looks fake - there is no shadow for the sign, while other objest's shadows indicate the sun was roughly overhead when the background photo was taken. —Billyknowes

The picture of Peter Levin "flying" the saucer on the website is certainly fake - it was uh, produced several years before the saucer actually flew, and used in various Moller promotional brochures, etc.
Even with a saucer which actually flew a few times, they use the fake shot instead.

Has anybody heard how they are doing on the new M200G - they said they were planning on building 40 in 2009. I haven't seen any mention of it in the press or on the Moller site? Sept 2010 - no M200G's have been built as of this date.
Sept 2012 - no M200Gs, or anything else for that matter, have been built as of this date.

Rotapower has a new site up - it can be accessed from Moller's site.
Not much new - the two links to PriMon AG, who are supposedly going to build the rotary engine, are dead.
There is another fake hover picture of the small model of the big (M600) design - with no caption to indicate that it is not real.
There is a picture of a young man holding a two rotor short block, claiming 160 HP. As usual, it's not a complete engine, just a block with a starter motor and plugs.
Why don't we ever see a complete engine, running on a test stand or a dyno???
The Intelectual property page is empty (hmm....)
And the "Engine test data" page doesn't really contain any test data.
All in all, a fine example of Moller marketing collateral.

What ever happened to the testing they were going to do at the milk farm? Did that fall through?

Looks like the Milk Farm development deal is not going to happen, so probably no testing. The Skycar is not ready for test anyway. Curious, considering they have been at it for 15 years or so...

2009-06-05 16:07:31   I took the tour at once point. It seemed to me to be a dog and pony show to attract investors. It could have been the day, but when I was there, there were only a few employees in the entire facility, and the company was relying upon contracts to manufacture items for other companies (if I remember correctly) to keep its cash flow positive. They made a big deal on the tour out of a lot of wishful thinking - if only the DOD would fund them to finish the skycar, etc. But they don't exactly have the best (or any?!) track record that I know of of getting anything in the air for more than a very short time. It's too bad, because I used to love reading about the technology that they were inventing, and I wanted to see them succeed and maybe have my own skycar some day. But I really doubt that we will ever see it work somehow... —IDoNotExist

If you want to see some impressive UAV's, go to these two site - the second one has some video of a unit being flown very aggressively. Moller's overweight junk could never fly like this. Getting rid of the ducts and extra body really let a small multi prop (not fan) unit perform.
Of course, staying on the ground is what Moller is good at!
These hobby guys are light years ahead of Dr Mo.
Because they've got more talent, and they want to succede at flying, not at scamming people.
[WWW] - this site covers a number of flyers
[WWW] - great video of one multi fan unit in flight.

2010-05-18 11:02:41   I know the discussion thread is old but wonder if some of the early posters are around and have changed their opinions? Moller's personal bankruptcy and the fact his flying car is still a pipe dream should be proof he has been conducting fraudulent practices the entire time. I'm surprised all his pilfered investors haven't started a class-action lawsuit against him. Or maybe they have? —checkplease

2010-05-18 13:02:15   Poor cash flow from a company (or an individual) does not indicate fraud. (In fact, about 9/10 businesses fail, which almost certainly means that they were not able to generate sufficient cash flow to stay in business.) Nor does failure to develop a successful or marketable product. (In biotech, for example, the vast majority of companies never manage to bring a product to market.) To be fraud, there has to be an intentional deception. —IDoNotExist

2010-09-09 07:54:22   Such a decption is mentioned in the SEC complaint. They use the term "false and misleading statements". Also, how can one take the "fake" picture of the hovering saucer (then the "XM-4") with Pete Levin at the (fake) controls as anything other than fraud? —FelixWankel

2011-09-07 08:45:11   I first heard of Mr. Moller in the mid-1980s from a colleague at the aerospace company where I work. He was even listed in "Jane's All the World's Aircraft." He was laughable even then. I caught wind of his upcoming (Oct. 11, 2011) "scheduled test flight" and have been following his latest adventure. I can't believe there are people out there still supporting him and the excuses they come up with to justify their support. I have been started updating this Wiki to keep others informed of his lack-of-progress and trying to stay objective, but it is difficult! —my2cents9

2011-09-14 12:54:47   Find it incredible that after all of these years, several other companies have produced proven flight capable autos while Moller still sits idly by with his "flying" Skycar attached to a crane for "Safety reasons" and has never advanced it to any type of true testing or demonstration. —Wes-P

2012-06-27 11:15:30 The engine design is not real, never been produced. Why not change it out for turbos? Why does the Williams wasp fly so well and stable but something with 4x the engines cannot. So now the wasp is in black out. Its over 30 years old and was stable. This can be done, its probably being done. We may find Mr. Moller is a patriot running a black-op. After all there has to be some reason for this. —Assalon5

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