Moller Skycar powered by ethanol water mix

Every so often someone does some good thinking outside the square. The Moller Skycar volantar is definitely the result of some serious lateral thinking. The Skycar is a vertical take-off airplane that is ideal for rapid personal transport. However, the most interesting thing as far as Envirofuel is concerned is that Moller has discovered that the Wankel engines used to power the Skycar are more powerful and produce less emissions when run on a blend of ethanol and water. The text from the press release follows:

Davis, CA, 21 May 2007–Moller International (OTCBB: MLER) has successfully tested its Rotapower® rotary engine using a fuel composed of 70% ethanol and 30% water. The rotapower engine is a key component in the future deployment of the Company’s volantor aircraft including the M200E and M200G models, anticipated to enter the market in 2008. This fuel mixture had a number of remarkable advantages when used as a volantor fuel including:

  • Reduced fire hazard since it is nearly incombustible outside the engine.
  • Reduced emissions to well below the Super Ultra Low Emissions Vehicle (SULEV) standard set by the California Air Resources Board.
  • Improved fuel consumption through the use of a higher compression ratio possible with the fuel’s high octane rating.
  • Significantly increased engine power through the fuel’s cooling effect on the incoming fuel/air charge.

The Rotapower engine in the volantor and other applications is able to achieve nearly emissions-free performance while producing nearly two horsepower for every pound of engine weight. Only a turbine engine can match this power to weight ratio, but at a cost that is over twenty times higher (USD25 per horsepower versus USD500+ per horsepower for this engine power range).

An engine with a high power to weight ratio and low cost is a requirement for the volantor-type aircraft in development by the Company.

Right now I’m thinking how nice my commute would be in a Skycar.

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