It has been over century in the making, but the world’s first ‘fly and drive car’ is set to make its US debut Tuesday night in Miami, Florida.
Called Pioneer Personal Air Landing Vehicle, or PAL-V, this flying vehicle is equipped with retractable overhead and rear propellers and can cruise at an altitude as high as 12,500 feet.
It uses automobile gasoline and tops speeds of 200 miles per hour in the air and 100 mile per hour on the ground.
The Dutch-made machine is already in production and is selling for $599,000 with 70 pre-orders to-date – the first delivery is expected to be in 2021.
PAL-V will go on display at an event entitled: ‘Miami 2020 and Beyond’.
The flying car seats two people has 230hp and a four-cylinder engine.
The two-seater vehicle converts from a three-wheeled car to a gyrocopter in just 10 minutes, and can go from 0 to 60 mph in under eight seconds.
Maxim magazine selected PAL-V in 2017 as the most likely company to deliver a ‘real’ flying car and two years later that prediction has come true.
Robert Dingemanse, CEO of PAL-V announced in an earlier statement that ‘After years of hard work, beating the technical and qualification challenges, our team succeeded in creating an innovative flying car that complies with existing safety standards, determined by regulatory bodies around the world.’
‘While other flying car manufacturers’ concepts require modified regulations and in many cases not yet existing technologies, PAL-V deliberately chose to engineer, design and build a flying car with proven technologies and fully compliant with existing regulations.’
It is made of carbon fiber, titanium, and aluminium and weighs 1,500 pounds, and requires a 540 feet runway for take-off and just 100 feet for landing.
The craft is fitted with a similar handling system to that of a motorbike, which relies on the driver tilting the vehicle with a control stick both on the ground and in the air.
‘Flying cars have been in movies many, many times and they will be available next year,’ Dingemanse told The Associated Press.
A slightly cheaper version to be made next – the Pal-V Liberty Sport – has a price tag of $335,000.
The firm has designed the car so at the flick of a button the blades fold down and gather like a bat’s wings on the top.
It incorporates a 2005 breakthrough, when Dutch company Carver invented a tilting system for three-wheelers, to counter Pal-V’s high center of gravity and make it roadworthy.
The company insists the Pal-V is not a helicopter, where blades are powered by an engine, but is a gyroplane in which the blades rotate thanks to airflow.
Even if both engines cut out, the blades will still turn.
‘The rotor is not powered, so it’s actually a parachute which is always available,’ Mr Dingemanse told AP.
Different versions of a flying car are being developed in the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Japan, China and the United States.
The lucky owner will need both a driving licence and a pilot’s licence.
But with the keys in hand, the owner will be able to drive to an airfield for the short take-off and, after landing elsewhere, drive to the destination in a door-to-door experience.
Parts are on order, with the first already in stock.
Once built, the vehicle will have to complete at least 150 flying hours, and undergo extensive tests to receive its certification from the Cologne-based European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA).
Once finalized, this will allow them to certify under FAR 27 regulations in America.
The 27-gallon gas tank provides a flying range of between 248 an 310 miles at an altitude of up to 11,500 feet.
On the road, it can drive for up to 750 miles.
Speaking to AFP last year, chief marketing officer Markus Hess said: ‘This kind of dream has been around for 100 years now.
‘When the first airplane was invented people already thought ‘How can I make that drive able on the road?’
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