Davis-based Moller International Inc. said today that it has a joint venture agreement with a Southern California firm to establish co-production of the local company's aircraft in the United States and China.
Moller, developer of the Skycar flying vehicle and other vertical takeoff and landing aircraft, said a memorandum of understanding had been signed with Athena Technologies LLC in the Los Angeles County community of Harbor City.
Officials said they expect final formal approval of the joint venture within weeks.
They said the joint venture will initially invest $80 million of a planned $480 million investment with the objective of producing a variety of aircraft by 2014.
Athena is billed as a consortium of several U.S. private equity funds and credit guarantee companies, with a focus on U.S.-China trade relations and e-business networks.
Moller International is the creation of Paul Moller, the Davis engineer and entrepreneur who has long envisioned mainstream use of flying vehicles. His work with flying craft dates back to scale model tests in 1961.