PAL-V Gyrocopter/Car Hybrid Takes Maiden Voyage, Moves One Step Closer To Crashing Somewhere Near You
This is the PAL-V (Personal Air and Land Vehicle) ONE, a "car"/gyrocopter hybrid from The Netherlands that's aimed at revolutionizing personal transport, but will probably only lead to a dramatic increase in gyrocopter related deaths. According to the company, the car can be driven on any road with a standard driver's license, and requires only a recreational or private pilot's license ("only 20 - 30 hours of training") to fly. I...find that terrifying. "You find everything terrifying." I nailed my apartment door shut and I'm never leaving.
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.
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.
Unfortunately, with all those safety features, there's still nothing that prevents you from flying into power lines trying to barnstorm a friend's house. And then what do you do? "Dangle above the street and get shocked to death?" Exaaaactly.
Hit the jump for several more shots of the lollercopter and a video of its maiden voyage.
Thanks to tag and Lisa, who prefer vehicles that have been built specifically with only one mode of transportation in mind because they feel like they're safer.