By Mary Grady, Contributing editor
PAL-V, a personal air and land vehicle, has been in development in the Netherlands for several years, and recently achieved its first flight, the company said on Monday. A folding pusher prop provides power and the auto-rotating rotor provides lift. On the road, the vehicle accelerates like a sports car and handles like a motorcycle, according to the company. Several flights were conducted over the last two weeks, the company said. Robert Dingemanse, CEO and co-founder of PAL-V, said he is now inviting investors to help support development of the aircraft. "We know there is a lot of interest for the PAL-V," he said. "Prior to announcing these test flights, we were already approached on a daily basis by potential customers and dealers wanting to be part of this exciting project."
The vehicle complies with existing regulations for air and road traffic in all major markets, the company said, and in the U.S., operators will require a sport pilot certificate to fly it. It takes off and lands at low speed, is easy to control, and won't stall, according to the news release. The maximum flight range is about 300 miles, and on the ground, it can drive for 750 miles. It runs on gasoline and versions will be available that use biodiesel, the company said. Maximum speed is 110 mph on the land or in the air. The video was posted on YouTube on April 1, which raised the question whether it's a fake; however, the company has been known to be working on the project for several years.