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Another flying car takes off

2012-04-04 09:30

TAKING TO THE SKIES: Is it a flying car or a driving aircraft, either way we're intrigued. Gallery!

THE HAGUE, Holland - We've just told you about a US company testing its new street-legal plane called the Transition. Now a Dutch company hopes to get its share of airspace with a new model designed for both road use and flight.

The Personal Air and Land Vehicle (PAL-V) is a gyrocopter capable of a flight range of as much as 500km at an altitude of up to 1200m. The horizontal rotors are used for elevation but unlike a helicopter however, the PAL-V cannot hover or take off and land vertically. The rotors blades can be stowed away for road use.


When it lands it tucks away its rotor blades and turns into a street-legal, three-wheeler with a claimed range of 1200km after refuellinlg. The PAL-V is capable of 160kW and can rocket from 0-100km in eight seconds. The new model has a fuel consumption of 8.3 litres/100km.

The PAL-V seems like the perfect vehicle to escape tedious terrestrial traffic but there is a hitch - it requires 165m of runway to take off, 30m to land and must use an airfield - not the open road.

Robert Dingemanse, chief executive of PAL-V, said: "In future you will be able to drive from home to the airfield, take off, land and then drive to your destination.

"The successful maiden flight of the PAL-V prototype was conducted at a Dutch Air Force base in March."

The arrow-shaped PAL-V, in development since 2008, is expected to go commercial in 2014 at R2.5-million a pop.

Jacco Hoekstra, dean of the aerospace faculty at Delft Technical University, said: "It will revolutionise the era of personal air travel. Until now air travel was mainly based on public transport. Now it will become a lot more personal - you will simply be able to walk out of your front door, drive to a small airfield, and fly away."

PAL-V One specifications:

Capacity - two passengers
Mass - 680kg (empty) to 910kg (gross)
Power - 160kW
Dimensions (rotor folded) - 4m x 1.6m x 1.6 m

Maximum speed - 180km/h
0-100km/h - 8sec
Fuel economy: 8.3-litres/100km
Range: 1200km

Maximum speed - 180km/h
Minimum speed for level flight - 50km/h
Take-off roll - 165m
Landing roll - 30m
Fuel economy - 36 litres/hour
Range - Maximum 500km

Watch the video below:


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