Although Moller's vision of a practical flying car is undoubtedly appealing (the Skycar has been featured on countless TV programs and magazine covers, including Popular Science), his efforts have amounted to very little since he began developing it in 1983. Several spin-off technologies, among them an innovative rotary engine, have proven successful and helped fund the research, but the aircraft has made no significant test flights, apart from a few tethered hover tests.
Says Bill Sweetman, PopSci's aerospace analyst, "There are two proven ways of getting an airplane to take off vertically: Move a lot of air slowly like a helicopter, or move a little air fast like a Harrier jump jet, which is basically a small fighter wrapped around a huge jet engine. Moller is trying to use relatively small lift fans with small engines and hasn't yet shown that it works well enough to do the job. It would also inspire more confidence if the Skycar actually had wings."