Flying Saucers Go Into ProductionAugust 2, 2007
A "flying saucer" that glides three metres above the ground and carries two people has gone into commerical production.
US company Moller International has begun to manufacture parts for its Jetsons-like personal flying pod, the M200G Volantor.
The M200G is the size of a small car and is designed to take off and land vertically.
Company founder Dr Paul Moller calls the craft "the ultimate off-road vehicle" as it is able to travel over any surface.
"It's not a hovercraft, although its operation is just as easy," said the aeronautical engineering boffin.
"You can speed over rocks, swampland, fences, or log-infested waterways with ease because you're not limited by the surface."
The flying saucer is designed to fly at an altitude of up to three metres, where it benefits from extra lift created by a cushion of air - known as ground effect.
This allows the M200G to glide over terrain at 50mph, powered by eight of the company's Rotapower rotary engines.
Moller International has not arranged for training or licensing requirements to operate the vehicle.
But it is prepared to offer demonstration sessions at its California base once the vehicle is ready for market.
The company has said the price for its M200G could start as low as £44,340 depending on the number ordered.