PAL-V Gyrocopter/Car Hybrid Takes Maiden Voyage, Moves One Step Closer To Crashing Somewhere Near You

April 3, 2012


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.




PAL-V Official Site
PAL-V ONE makes maiden voyage, gives new meaning to 'Flying Dutchman' [engadget]

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.

  • Phillip31L3P

    This is NOT a flying car. Stop calling it that. It is a three wheeled motorbike (motorcycle). Any attempt at licensing this as a "car" will be met with laughter by your local DMV.

    An example of a flying car can be found by doing a search on the "Aerocar." A vehicle that was build and sold by Molt Taylor back in the early 50's. It was also an airplane, not a slow poke gyro.

    This aircraft should be called a "flying motorcycle" or "Gyrocycle." Anything but a 'Flying car.'

  • yeah..Am I the only one who thinks tunnels or big rigs might be a problem while driving this?

  • Ninja_Cricket

    I want one!

  • gooch

    I'll take the gas version over the biodiesel version. French fry grease is already killing me from the inside and I'll be damned if I'm going to die in its fiery entombment.  

  • Its a trike, not a car. ;D

  • artilleryboy

    SHUT UP AND TAKE MY MONEY...... Oh wait, i have none

  • $18922249

    Huh... a trike with the singlet in front attached to a helicopter. What could possibly go wrong. 

    Also... by this definition, an airplane is briefly a "car", just before takeoff. 

  • Shaun

    A gyro isn't a helicopter. They're a damned sight safer and a lot quieter.

  • GW missed the other flying car I emailed him. The other one will actually be available this year. Not this looking for investment BS.

  • Gloomfrost

     Could've said what it was..

  • Am I the only one who thinks tunnels or big rigs might be a problem while driving this?

  • How is that considered a car?

  • westmclarenmerc

    Car: Also called motorcar automobile a self-propelled road vehicle
    designed to carry passengers, esp one with (but not limited to) four wheels that is powered by an
    internal-combustion engine.

    Also from the Netherlands and somewhat related to this post is the by now outdated Carver, also concidered as a car and not a trike or motorcycle because its an enclosed vehicle.

  • Phillip31L3P

    So a Tesla Model S or a Roadster, by your definition, is not a car. What about the Stanley Steamer or the White Steamer?

    Most definitions say a car is an automobile, which a majority would agree has 4 wheels. The "vehicle" can not be license as a car/ least in the U.S. It can however, be licensed as a 3 wheeled motorcycle.

  • jordan314

    Finally, a solution to LA traffic.

  • I'd be first to buy it.

  • Nice solution to a first comment.

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