The Dutch company PAL-V Europe NV has successfully concluded test flights of its flying car, PAL-V (Personal Air and Land Vehicle). During the past two weeks, several test flights were conducted at the Gilze Rijen Airport (The Netherlands). The patented vehicle flies in the air 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. No new infrastructure is required because it uses existing roads and airstrips.
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. 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.
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 (220 miles) and 500 km (315 miles), depending on the type, pay load and wind conditions. Driving, a PAL-V will have a range of about 1200 km (750 miles). 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 (110 miles/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 agil- ity 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 like a standard gyrocopter. It 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. This makes a PAL-V one of the safest types of aircraft. Obtaining a licence requires only 20 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 (540 feet) is enough and it can be either paved or grass. Governments are already preparing for increasing traffic with Personal Air Vehicles like the PAL-V. In the United States and in Europe government-funded development programs are determining the infrastructure of 'digital freeways' to provide a safe corridor using GPS technology. The technology is available today to allow personal air traffic to grow safely. PAL-V Europe N.V. is determined to play a leading role in this market.
Estimated unit price is around $300,000.