High hopes: Dutch company launches flying car

Makes debut at Geneva Motor Show

08 March 2018 | Motors
Robert Dingemanse has heard the comparisons many, many times. The Jetsons, Harry Potter, James Bond.

As CEO of a Dutch company developing a flying car, he's used to curious people whose only frame of reference for his new vehicle comes from cartoons or movies.

But as of this week, Dingemanse’s dream of letting commuters (albeit well-heeled ones) choose whether to drive or fly to work comes a significant step closer. He is unveiling the first production model of the PAL-V Liberty, a three-wheeled, two-seat car and gyroplane rolled into one, at the Geneva motor show.

“Flying cars have been in movies many, many times and they will be available next year,” Dingemanse told Associated Press at an airport near the southern Dutch city of Breda as he stood next to a sleek, black prototype of the PAL-V Liberty.

The PAL-V Liberty is one of several flying cars in development around the world such as The Transition, a folding wing two-seater being developed by US-based Terrafugia, and an all-electric vertical take-off and landing jet being developed by German start-up Lilium.

Carlo van de Weijer, director of Eindhoven's Technical University’s Smart Mobility program, doesn’t see flying cars as much more than a niche market.

“It's not really going to be a substantial part of the total mobility industry,” he said. “It's a nice gadget to combine it with a car so ... it might be a successful company in selling quite a few,” he said of the PAL-V.

In the air, the PAL-V is pushed forward by a rear mounted propeller driven by two engines. It is stabilized by a larger roof-mounted rotor that bolsters safety.

“The rotor is not powered,” Dingemanse said, “so it's actually a parachute which is always available.”

Its makers say the PAL-V will drive at up to 170km per hour, fly up to 180km per hour and can fly about 500km on a single tank of regular unleaded gas.

Land it and the rotor and propeller fold away, the tail retracts and the PAL-V is ready to drive. Switching from road to aircraft mode takes about 10 minutes including performing the necessary checks, the company says.

With a price tag expected to be around €500 000 for the first production run of 90, the flying cars are not for everybody, but Dingemanse said he has plenty of buyers lined up. They will have to become certified gyroplane pilots to take their PAL-V into the sky and the company is offering training courses, too.

Just don’t expect this flying car to lift off vertically if it gets caught in a traffic jam. The PAL-V needs a short runway or grass airstrip to take off and land.

With the first production model of the car now ready, the company can begin the final stages of certification with road and aviation authorities in Europe and elsewhere.

The US Federal Aviation Administration said it is constantly working to integrate new technology into its regulations.

“Urban mobility technology is highly promising and we are vigorously working towards the development of policy and regulations to support it,” the FAA said in a written response to questions from AP. – Nampa/AP



‘Hou by spoedbeperkings’

12 ure gelede | Ongelukke

Die inspekteur-generaal van die Namibiese polisie, luitenant-generaal Sebastian Ndeitunga het ’n beroep op inwoners gedoen wat vir die onafhanklikheidsvieringe môre na Tsumeb reis, om by...

RA: Bestuur versigtig op verspoelde pad

12 ure gelede | Infrastruktuur

Die Paaieowerheid (RA) het motoriste gemaan om versigtig op die verspoelde pad tussen Opuwo en Omakange te bestuur wat erg weens ‘n wolkbreuk beskadig is.“Intussen...

Daggaplante en geld 'verdwyn'

22 ure gelede | Polisie

Denver Kisting - Polisiebeamptes wat by misdaad betrokke raak, bekommer senior lede van die mag.Dít kom nadat vier polisielede verbonde aan die dwelmeenheid gister­oggend in...

Hervestigingsplaas vir Vicki ya Toivo

22 ure gelede | Ministeries

Augetto Graig - Adv. Vicki Erenstein ya Toivo, weduwee van die gestorwe nasionale held mnr. Andimba Toivo ya Toivo, is deur die ministerie van grondhervorming...

NBC: Losses piling up

22 ure gelede | Regering

Jo-Maré Duddy – The NBC’s management ignored tender conditions set by its board and entered into a N$24.5-million contract for a full maintenance vehicle lease...

PDM: Is Namibië in weermag se greep?

22 ure gelede | Regering

Die tesourier-generaal van die Popular Democratic Movement (PDM), mnr. Nico Smit, sê die minister van verdediging, mnr. Penda ya Ndakolo, se erkenning dat hy onbewus...

Weer vir 20 Maart 2018

22 ure gelede | Weer

BINNELAND: Gedeeltelik bewolk en baie warm oor die verre Ooste en die ||Kharasstreek. Elders sal dit gedeeltelik bewolk en warm tot baie warm wees met...

Otji-dok 'gevaar vir samelewing'

22 ure gelede | Howe

Denver Kisting - Die Zimbabwiese dokter Yevai Chiradza wat met die dood van drie mense verbind word en wyd opslae maak oor beweerde roekelose en...

Henties se Patrick by die graf

22 ure gelede | Mense

Des Erasmus - Hentiesbaai staan by die graf van een van sy temmers. Mnr. Patrick Eagleton (75) het Saterdagoggend in ‘n Windhoekse hospitaal gesterf...