I’ve been checking in on  Paul Moller and his SkyCar project occasionally since the late 1980s when I read an article in the Economist about his project.  He has been working on flying cars since the 1960s and has made a few millions along the way with spinoff inventions such as the SuperTrapp muffler and a line of compact rotary engines. But still no flying car.  Just hovering cars as seen in these videos.

Via the Spaceports blog comes a pointer to an announcement from Moller that a Chinese based firm has agreed to provide $80M initially and up to $480M to get a VTOL vehicle in production:  Moller Forms Joint Venture with Athena Technologies, Inc. – Moller

DAVIS, Ca. January 23, 2013–Moller International, Inc. (MI) (OTC-QB: MLER), the developer of the Skycar
® and Neuera™ aircraft announced today that it has received a signed memorandum of understanding (MOU) agreeing to create a US-based Joint Venture (JV) with Athena Technologies Inc. of Harbor City, California. The goal of the newly formed JV is to establish co-production for its aircraft in the US and the People’s Republic of China.

Under the provisions of the memorandum, MI will team with this US company-led JV to jointly produce numerous models of its vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) aircraft. The JV will initially invest $80 million (USD) of a planned $480 million investment with the objective of producing a variety of VTOL aircraft by 2014. Production will include the Skycar® 200 LS, Skycar® 400, Skycar® 600 and Neuera™ aircraft.

MI is to retain its Intellectual Property (IP) while providing the JV with aircraft designs,ready-to-install Rotapower® rotary aviation engines, and the requirements for the airframe and flight control systemhardware to be produced in China. The JV is to provide all necessary production funding, purchase a 35% ownership in MI and provide MI with 25% fixed ownership in the JV for a period of 10 years

The full text of the announcement is available at: Moller-Athena-MOU.pdf

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Meanwhile, the company Space Sciences Corporation in New Mexico has an agreement with Moller to commercialize an early version of the SkyCar. In this Moonandback interview from last October, the  co-founders of the firm  “talk about their activities over the past year in developing vertical takeoff/vertical landing (VTVL) craft – a putative Flying Saucer” : John D’Alessandro and Lindsay Quarrie – A Flying Saucer Update – Moonandback.

[Update Jan.30.13: In Part 2 of the interview they "talk about how a flying saucer excites the public and kindles the educational experience, and they look at some of the applications for a vertical takeoff and landing flying vehicle" : John D’Alessandro and Lindsay Quarrie - The Cool Factor - Moonandback.
]

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As I’ve mentioned before, I think the best hope for a practical VTOL flying car will be more along the lines of the Israeli UrbanAero AirMule. You can follow its progress via their  updates and videos & downloads. The Aerofex Tandem Duct Aerial Vehicle  takes a similar design approach: