Dutch 'flying car' takes to the skies

Apr 03, 2012
A test pilot lands the Personal Air and Land Vehicle PAL-V following a test flight in 2009. Is it a flying car or a driving aircraft? Either way, the Personal Air and Land Vehicle, or PAL-V for short, has just proved it can handle the skies as well as the highway, both at up to 180 kilometres (112 miles) per hour, its Dutch developers said Tuesday.

Is it a flying car or a driving aircraft? Either way, the Personal Air and Land Vehicle, or PAL-V for short, has just proved it can handle the skies as well as the highway, both at up to 180 kilometres (112 miles) per hour, its Dutch developers said Tuesday.

The PAL-V is a gyrocopter that can fly as far as 500 kilometres (315 miles) at an of up to 4,000 feet (1,200 metres).

When it lands, it tucks away its and turns into a road-legal three-wheeled vehicle with a range of 1,200 kilometres.

"In future, you will be able to drive from home to the airport, take off, land and then drive to your destination in one go," said Robert Dingemanse, chief executive of the company, also called PAL-V.

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In development since 2008, the first commercial models of the arrow-shaped PAL-V are expected to go on sale in 2014 at 250,000-300,000 euros ($330,000-$400,000), Dingemanse told AFP.

"The successful maiden flight of the PAL-V protoype was conducted at a Dutch Air Force base last month," added the head of the company, based in Raamsdonksveer near the eastern city of Nijmegen.

"It will revolutionise the era of personal air travel," said Jacco Hoekstra, dean of the aerospace faculty at Delft Technical University, which with the Dutch National Aerospace Laboratory cooperated on the project.

"Before, air travel was mainly based on ," Hoekstra said. "Now it will become a lot more personal -- you will simply be able to walk out your door, drive to a small airfield and fly away."

If the PAL-V sounds like the perfect getaway vehicle from a traffic jam, there is a hitch -- it requires 165 metres of runway to take off, 30 metres to land and can only be flown from airports.

For more than a century have been trying to combine cars and planes, and several companies have joined the race to make the first commercially-produced "flying car."

US-based firm Terrafugia said Monday they had successfully tested their own street-legal plane called the the "Transition."

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Dug
1 / 5 (1) Apr 03, 2012
This is just another repackaged gyro-copter concept. You now like the 100th in the last 80 years or so. It's old, old tech, man. And, good luck on those sales prices you can build lots of gyro-copter kits for a few thousand.
Sanescience
not rated yet Apr 04, 2012
Now, now. The public has been crying out for every Tom, Nick, and Alice to not only apply their bad driving habits on the road, but into the air as well. Soon traffic reports will be on congestion at the airports during rush hour and how much safer car travel is compared to air travel through the clouds of flying cars. Right?
Not likely.
Vendicar_Decarian
not rated yet Apr 04, 2012
It is a great concept that will not work in every situation. You won't be flying one of these to the corner store.

But how about as an air taxi? Or a mode of transport for people who would otherwise have long commutes?

There is no pavement to maintain for air travel.

I love the centrifugally unfolded prop.
Tis a thing of beauty in itself.
Guy_Underbridge
1.5 / 5 (2) Apr 04, 2012
crash and burn on the pic for the article. autogyro is a german company, pal-v is dutch.

HydraulicsNath
not rated yet Apr 04, 2012
I want one and cant wait to see them in action!
The Singularity
not rated yet Apr 04, 2012
"can only be flown from airports." Yeah right. Any straight quiet strip of road & your away.
euroflycars
not rated yet Apr 04, 2012
I'm interested in the fundamentals of 2D/3D individual mobility. Hence, I consider the PAL-V as the next best to a true VERTOL concept, whereby the more expensive rotor mechanics would be compensated by the independendence of an airstrip offering the main advantage of being able to land at the periphery of urban aeras -- which in turn would allow for a detachable airframe with the cockpit designed as an electric citycar. Moreover, when docked to a rotary platform at the top of a perch (with almost no footprint), the VERTOL airframe could be left behind as a fully functional wind turbine charging its own batteries (with the cockpit part lowered by a built-in winch).

The true purppose of a convertible personal road/air vehicle is not to use intercity roads at all, and to be driven on urban roads as a mini-EV only.
winthrom
1 / 5 (1) Apr 04, 2012
This idea is very good but the price is 4 times too high to gain much of a mass USA market. Also, as noted previously, this is a gyro copter, which requires a suitable FAA license in the USA. I see the specifications are located at http://pal-v.com/...cations/ . The "velocity never exceed" (VNE) is 97 knots. Thus 75% power flight cruise speed should be near 65 - 75 knots. This is good for short trips (Europe - 220 - 315 Miles) but not short trips (USA 300 - 400 miles, e.g., Washington DC to Cleveland, or San Fransisco to Los Angeles). USA flight cruise speed needs to be about 85 - 95 knots to make much value over drive time, but it sure does get past the traffic.