Flying Car Makes Successful Maiden Flight

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Dutch Innovation

The Dutch company PAL-V Europe NV has successfully concluded test flights of its flying car, PAL-V (Personal Air and Land Vehicle). The patented vehicle flies like a gyrocopter with lift generated by an auto-rotating rotor and forward speed produced by a foldable push propeller on the back. On the road it drives like a sports car. The PAL-V complies with existing regu¬lations in all major markets, which means that the vehicle is allowed both in road traffic and in the air; hence, it does not need new infrastructure.

A team of top engineers has been working on the first prototypes since finalization of the design concept in 2008. Renowned institutes such as the Dutch National Aerospace Laboratory and Delft University have also been involved in the development. The driving prototype was fully tested in 2009, and now the flying-driving prototype has made its first flights.

Door-to-Door Mobility

A PAL-V offers the choice of flying like a plane, or driving like a car. This means fast door-to-door mobil¬ity for private individuals as well as professionals and organizations. The flying range will be between 350 km and 500 km, depending on the type, pay load and wind conditions. Driving, a PAL-V will have a range of about 1200 km. It runs on gasoline like a conventional car, and there will also be versions that use biodiesel or bio-ethanol. It can reach speeds of up to 180 km/h both on land and in the air.

On the ground, the slim, aerodynamic, 3-wheeled vehicle combines the comfort of a car with the agil­ity of a motorcycle thanks to its patented, cutting-edge, “tilting” system. Driving, a PAL-V accelerates like a sports car, and drives through curves like a motorcycle.

Flying, a PAL-V is quieter than helicopters due to the slower rotation of the main rotor. It takes off and lands with low speed, cannot stall, and is very easy to control. Obtaining a license requires only 20 hours to 30 hours of training. Thanks to its very short take off and landing capability, it is possible to land a PAL-V practically any¬where. For take-off, a strip of 165 meters is enough, and it can be either paved or grass.

Now that the final product development phase has been reached, PAL-V Europe will invite new inves¬tors to fund the development of the commercial product and the market launch. Customers such as police, the military, and flying doctors have expressed interest for surveillance, mobility, aid in post-war situations, and homeland security. Initial talks about specific requirements are underway.

A flying car has been a dream cherished for almost 100 years. Now it has become reality. Leave home and fly-drive to almost any destination. Avoid traffic jams and cross lakes, fjords, rivers or mountain ranges like an eagle. The PAL-V combines in one vehicle the freedom and excitement of flying like a bird in the sky with the choice of breathtaking driving performance on the roads and highways; thus offering an unprec¬edented freedom in mobility. 

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