Flying car makes maiden voyage, gives new meaning to 'Flying Dutchman' (video)
The Netherlands made a lot of noise in the tech world last year for stuff like net neutrality and the legal herping and derping between Apple and Samsung. Now it's making some noise of the whirly kind after the successful maiden flight of its very own flying car. Dutch company PAL-V christened its flying car the, uh, PAL-V ONE -- short for Personal Air and Land Vehicle. Like the Terrafugia Transition flying car, the PAL-V ONE also sports a push propeller, which it uses for forward speed. The Dutch flying car, however, doesn't have side wings and relies on an auto-rotating rotor to create lift instead. The vehicle -- which supposedly complies with all air and road traffic regulations in major markets -- chugs good, old regular gas (biodiesel and bio-ethanol versions are planned as well) for a range of 350 to 500 kilometers in the air and about 1,200 kilometers on the ground. For more adventurous land drivers, the PAL-V ONE also features a "cutting-edge system" for tilting at windmills, allowing it to power through curves like a motorcycle. See it in action in the video after the break, along with some company PR.

[Thanks, Barry]

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Flying Car Makes Successful Maiden Flight

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.

Dutch Innovation

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 regulations in all major markets, which means that the vehicle is allowed both in road traffic and in the air.

Robert Dingemanse, CEO and co-founder of PAL-V commented: "We are very proud to announce this successful maiden flight of the PAL-V and we now invite investors to create the future with us. We know there is a lot of interest for the PAL-V. Prior to announcing these test flights, we were already approached on a daily basis by potential customers and dealers wanting to be part of this exciting project."

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 mobility 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 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 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 anywhere. 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.

The Company

PAL-V Europe NV, the company that initiated the development of the PAL-V, is located in Raamsdonksveer, The Netherlands. The management consists of a team of Dutch entrepreneurs with expertise in aviation, automotive, research, and marketing. PAL-V Europe succeeded in gathering the best talent available. The company was initially funded by a group of informal investors and also received a loan (Innovatiekrediet) from the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs. Three Dutch ministries are supporting the project based on its technical innovation and economic potential.

Professionals and corporations are investigating the efficiency and improved effectiveness a PAL-V will bring to their operations. Potential lead 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.
Now that the final product development phase has been reached, PAL-V Europe will invite new investors to fund the development of the commercial product and the market launch.
A flying car has been a dream cherished for almost 100 years. Now it has become reality. This will be a revolution in door-to-door transportation similar to the transition from horse-and-buggy to the automobile. Leave home and fly-drive to almost any destination. Avoid traffic jams and cross lakes, fjords, rivers or mountain ranges like an eagle. Touch down on the other side and drive to your final destination. 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. It offers an unprecedented freedom in mobility.
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More information and high res images can be found at www.PAL-V.com
Press contact is Robert Dingemanse, tel. +31 162 580 560, E-mail Press@PAL-V.com

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PAL-V ONE makes maiden voyage, gives new meaning to 'Flying Dutchman' (video)