Flying car makes successful maiden flight
The Dutch company PAL-V Europe NV has successfully concluded test flights of its flying car, personal air and land vehicle (PAL-V). 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 finalisation 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 regulations 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 mobility for private individuals as well as professionals and organisations. The flying range will be between 350 (220 miles) and 500 km (315 miles), depending on the type, payload and wind conditions. Driving, a PAL-V will have a range of about 1,200 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.