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

Soortgelyk

 

Studie-debakel vir Namibiërs in Zambië

2 dae gelede | Gesondheid

Die ministerie van gesondheid en maatskaplike dienste is deur die Namibiese hoë kommissariaat in Zambië gewaarsku dat twee universiteite in dié buurland waar 91 Namibiese...

Meatco heroorweeg BTW-besluit

2 dae gelede | Landbou

Nuus van Meatco se herinstelling van die betaling van 15% BTW (belasting op toegevoegde waarde) op alle beestransaksies by die abattoir, is deur die NLU...

Slaggate teen einde Julie herstel

2 dae gelede | Infrastruktuur

Die munisipaliteit van Windhoek verwag dat alle slaggate van die hoofstad se paaie teen einde Julie herstel sal wees. Die woordvoerder van die munisipaliteit, me....

Onderwyseres ‘ontvoer’ skoolmeisie glo vir seks

2 dae gelede | Howe

Henriette Lamprecht – ’n Onderwyseres van ’n hoërskool in die Suide het gister in die hof verskyn op aanklagte dat sy glo ’n skoolmeisie ontvoer...

Sokkerkoors loop hoog!

2 dae gelede | In beeld

Die opening van 2018 se Wêreldbekersokkertoernooi het gister by die Luzhniki-stadion in Moskou plaasgevind. Nagenoeg 80 000 sokkerliefhebbers het die seremonie bygewoon en die immerbekende...

Vakbond, regering stamp kop oor huishulpe

2 dae gelede | Arbeid

Augetto Graig – Die permanente sekretaris in die ministerie van arbeid, nywerheidsbetrekkinge en werkskepping, mnr. Bro-Matthew Shinguadja, sê daar steek geen waarheid in die Namibiese...

Vaarwel aan Daantjie Louw

2 dae gelede | Mense

Tielman van Lill - “Stil, broers, daar gaan ‘n man verby, hy groet, en dis verlaas . . . ”Só is die woorde van die...

Netumbo by slenters betrek

2 dae gelede | Ministeries

Denver Kisting – Slenters doen tans die ronde waarby die adjunk- eerste minister en die minister van internasionale betrekkinge en samewerking, me. Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah, betrek...

Weer vir 15 Junie 2018

2 dae gelede | Weer

WEERWAAK: ‘n Koue front en buie word in die ||Kharasstreek en suidelik kus verwag.BINNELAND: Gedeeltelik bewolk en koud tot matig in die Suide met enkele...