The race to sell the first flying car of the 21st century may be acquired by a bike.
The PAL-V is a transforming gyro copter designed and made in the Netherlands that’s now on sale, with deliveries scheduled to begin in 2016.
A modern take on the type of flying machine used by James Bond in the moving picture “You Only Live Twice,” the PAL-V – for Personal Air and Land Vehicle – takes its usefulness to the adjacent stage.
Thanks to a hydraulic suspension system, the vehicle is able to lean into turns on the road, making it desirable to ride quickly, despite its high center of gravitation.
According to its creators, the 230 HP vehicle can achieve a top speed of 112 mph on land or in the air.
It takes only 10 minutes to be converted between modes, and features a modest tail-mounted propeller along with its fold-up main rotor
It doesn’t take off vertically like a chopper, but requires a short, 540-foot runway and is designated to fly at heights below 4,000 feet under visual flight regulations (VFR,) which requires merely the combining weight of a sport pilot license to work in most states.
It can stay airborne at speeds as low as 31 miles per hour.
But its three- rack pattern is what grants it the upper hand against the proposed ‘flying cars’ like the long-delayed Terrafugia Transition, because it just needs to meet motorcycle regulations for road use, which don’t need the same extensive crash testing and costly safety equipment as automobiles.
Orders are currently only being held in the Netherlands, but the company tells Autos that it expects to expand internationally this fall, at a cost of around $395,000.