Video: Are flying cars in our future?

NBC News
updated 8/6/2004 6:15:44 PM ET 2004-08-06T22:15:44

Inventor Paul Moller figures he's spent 40 years and $200 million on his dream of creating a practical flying car — and at the age of 67, he's still hoping the dream comes alive while he can still enjoy it.

Moller made his millions selling motorcycle mufflers and real estate, but all of that fortune has gone into ventures ranging from a real-life flying saucer to his latest project, the Skycar.

"The job is much bigger than I realized," Moller admitted on NBC's "Today" show, in Friday's edition of "Today's American Story."

Moller's Skycar, which is still going through development, is designed to travel as fast as small planes — but is society really ready for flying cars? Aviation experts say that electronically controlled "highways in the sky" would have to be specially created for vehicles like Moller's Skycar.

Despite the challenges, Moller keeps working — and he has won 50 patents for spin-offs from his Skycar project. One of the spin-offs is a hovering, camera-equipped robot the size of a beer keg that can inspect bridges for cracks.

Are Moller's results worth the expense? "I guess that'll depend on what happens in the end," Moller told NBC News correspondent Bob Dotson.

To see Moller's flying inventions in action, click on the "Launch" button above. And to learn more about flying cars and other unrealized dreams of aviation, read "Seven Flights of Fancy That Fizzled."

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