Archive for January 22nd, 2011
So how does America become a primary manufacturer again, where we are exporting something the rest of the world wants, instead of being a primary importer? It seems like a daunting task, after all, we’ve lost the car market to the East, the computer age was born here, but now is developing in the East, and we are no longer pushing the space race in America. In order to recapture the technological lead on the world stage, America would have to invent something dramatically, and radically new, that every person on the face of the planet would want.
Let me introduce the M400 Skycar. It’s a personal Skycar with a top speed of 350 MPH and has a range of 750 miles and a flight ceiling of 30,000 feet. It is the future. Now, there are a lot of videos here. This is one of the rare times that I’ll say the videos are more important than the text I provide. So take your time and watch the videos, all of them. And pass this link on to a friend so the word can get out. I believe this is extremely important to the United States in 2011 and on.
I’ve followed the work of Paul Moller for most of my life and am a tremendous fan of his. So much so, that I dedicated a large part of my book The Symposium of Justice to the M400 Skycar in hopes that the military would see the potential for applications, and get the ball rolling.
Paul Moller is the equivalent to the modern-day Henry Ford, or Bill Gates. His idea could be just as explosive if only politics would embrace the concept and accept that highways, manufacturing unions, and current aerospace manufacturers and their government contracts, are becoming obsolete. Can you imagine the changes that would have to take place in the airline industry? Can you imagine the airline industry lobby against the Skycar concept? Do you think GE would want this technology to emerge unless they had their feet already in the game, which they don’t? If the TSA employees join a union, can you imagine the protests trying to protect their jobs that would be leaving as people gained the independence of personal transport and wouldn’t need TSA Security any longer; all the vehicles would be controlled by GPS Systems? Nobody would be running into buildings with these things because they’d just be riding around like a passenger while computers do all the flying. Of the large aerospace companies, only Boeing has entertained the construction of Skycars so far, so the protective interests are actively in place.
I gave a Powerpoint, to John Boehner so he could possibly do something to help with the lobbyist politics that exist on K-Street and other places so the M400 Skycar could enter the marketplace. I also sent the same Powerpoint to the current President and to the head of General Motors, giving them the idea to “re-invent” themselves. They of course are committed to building electric cars, which will soon be irrelevant.
Does it work? Yes! Now that these tests are completed and on the record, even if Moller never gets this M400 into production, the steps have been taken, and a vertical takeoff personal vehicle will emerge for personal use. The sky is the future because it costs less to maintain and eliminates costly infrastructure need. There will always be need for highways for shipping reasons, but personal transportation of 50 miles or more needs to go to the air. That might seem like science fiction, but it’s currently science fact. All that fact needs is for public consciousness to catch up and accept the technology, and that will happen when people understand how they’ll benefit.
Here is the testing of stability in flight, hovering controls. Pretty important so the vehicle can land in a parking lot with reliability. This is one of the most difficult technical feats the vehicle had to overcome, and it has been successful.
So who is Paul Moller? Meet him here. He has testified before congress on this issue and has worked with NASA. This entire infrastructure is in place now. All it will take to bring it to a reality is for you to demand it. Paul will explain the whole concept, just listen, and enjoy.
I personally can’t wait to have one. For my life style, it will be perfect. I could be in New York within a morning, take care of my business, and be back that night for dinner without any difficulty. Same for Atlanta, Chicago and Washington D.C. since all those cities are within 500 miles from Cincinnati. In other places around the country, the trip from LA to Las Vegas would be minutes, and from San Fran to LA under an hour with most of the flight time being accent and descent. New Yorker’s could be out of the city and up into Connecticut, Vermont and Massachusetts within an hour. No traffic because the GPS system would stack all the destinations at different elevations. Weather conditions would be the only variable, but conditions would be favorable over 95% of the time. Only heavy wind and thunderstorms would prevent flight.
Image the trip from London to Paris, which currently takes a few hours by their high-speed rail system that goes under the English Channel from the time you buy your ticket, get on the train, and arrive at your destination. You could literally travel from the British Museum of Natural History and arrive at The Louver Museum in well under an hour including getting into the Skycar and exiting.
However, there is a lot of resistance to the Skycar out there, particularly from the existing infrastructure, and politics and I have a sincere concern that Paul Moller’s dream may be all too reminiscent of one of my personal hero’s, Preston Tucker. If you don’t know the story, Tucker was a GREAT car builder and was WAY ahead of his time. His car was so ahead of its time that the Big Three put pressure on the government to prosecute Tucker though Senator Ferguson, who was taking lobby money from the Big Three, before he could launch his car to the public. Listen to this clip from the film Tucker: A Man and His Dream as delivered by Jeff Bridges.
This is one of my favorite films. If you haven’t seen it you are missing a classic from Executive Producer George Lucas and Director Francis Ford Coppela.
I don’t want to see Paul Moller become a Preston Tucker. I see dramatic parallels between the two men. I think Moller is a lot more level-headed, and more classical engineering minded where Tucker was a salesman first and an engineer second, Moller has the great ability to stay out of trouble.
Eventually, the Big Three automakers would adapt to the innovations that Tucker introduced in 1948, by the 1970’s. If we were a smart society, we’d learn from history and listen to Paul Moller now, and not shove him into the corner to protect the status quo, and put off technology we need today. Because we may lose it to the East, or to a costly two or three decades only to have it emerge in the distant future anyway. It’s really up to the United States.
Tucker died shortly after his trial, which he was of course innocent, but the experience cost him market delivery of his vastly superior automobile. The Big Three grudgingly adopted many of Tucker’s features but not for another 20 years. The Big Three didn’t want to absorb the cost of competition, so they put him out of business. And that is the problem that Paul Moller will have to overcome. It’s not the technical obstacles that are the problem. It’s the political ones that hold back our country. Here is Tucker’s story.
You can have the world you want if you have the courage to put horse-sense ahead of politics. If that happens, then you could have a Skycar to drive and fly within a decade. You may have a job in the Skycar emerging field in the same time frame, and the United States could return to the world stage as a primary manufacturer of something the rest of the world wants, while China and Japan continue to make cars, which will decline in importance, and become a secondary market item similar in usefulness to a motorcycle or bicycle, and certainly high-speed rail which is next to useless compared to Skycar technology.
But I suspect that history will repeat itself and Paul Moller will go the way of Tucker obscurity, and our great nation the United States will too drift into the cloudy recesses of a foggy morning in history, which once lifted everyone, will wonder if the fog had ever been at all.
It’s up to you.