Car news

10 April 2012

Dutchmen invent plausible flying car

It sounds like something from the TG workshop, but it actually seems to work…
Car image

There’s definitely something in the air in the Netherlands – and it’s not coming out of the country’s coffee shops.

No, what’s in the air is this: the PAL-V, made by the Dutch company of the same name. Not only that, it can – its makers claim – go on the roads as well…

Specifically, the PAL-V is a car and a gyroplane combined, capable of both an air and ground speed of 180kph and a sub 8.0sec 0-97kph time. It can be flown in Europe with a Recreational Pilot Licence or a Private Pilot Licence, while a plain old driving licence is all you need to take the PAL-V out on the roads.

And don’t think that just because it can fly, they’ve made it drive like one of Hannibal’s elephants. The PAL-V features the same Dynamic Vehicle Control system used on the Carver ONE that Hammond drove in TopGear Series 2, Episode 9.

Basically, the car tilts into corners like a motorcycle, the aggression of your steering input determining the angle of lean. It looks fun. And then when you get to your airfield, or quiet stretch of the M1, out come the propeller and the rotor and you’re up, up and away.

Now PAL-V aren’t the first to experiment with this technology. The first ever flying car prototype was built way back in 1934, whilst our man May flew/drove a 1956 Taylor Aerocar in his Big Ideas show. But with the PAL-V, the company reckon they might have produced the first truly commercially viable flying car. We’re already looking forward to the race series…

Check it out in the video below:


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