Peter Pan had it all wrong. You don't need fairy dust to fly, just a Pal-V One hybrid car and gyrocopter. This Personal Air Land Vehicle transforms from a road roamer to a spectacle for the birds in about ten minutes. The push of one button raises its rotor mast while another extends its tail into flying position, giving drivers/pilots the possibility of speeding down a highway one hour and soaring over civilization the next.
Pal-V One's aerodynamic design allows it to reach speeds of 112 mph both on land and in the air (someone ask the Jetsons about possible air speed limits in the future). Achieving a respectable 28 mpg, this vehicle can be filled up at any gas station and would actually save a few people on gas money, although the $250,000 list price might override that profit. Its two seats enhance the sleek sports car look, and its three wheels allow for Dynamic Vehicle Control (DVC™) tilting technology to make the Pal-V bank like a motorcycle and tilt like a plane.
Pal-V One on the road
Pal-V One in the air
Driving this piece of aeronautical art requires only a private driver's license, while flying it takes about 20 to 40 hours of student-pilot lessons. Given that it cruises at altitudes below 4,000 feet, the Pal-V utilizes airspace available for uncontrolled Visual Flight Rules and thus avoids interference from commercial air traffic.
For a project that started just over a decade ago, the Pal-V has since pushed the frontier of transportation technology to a whole new dimension. It'll be fun to see where engineers take us from here; perhaps we'll watch from the clouds in our own Pal-V.
Powerplant: 230-horsepower engine
On land: maximum speed 112 mph; 28 mpg; range 750 miles
In the air: cruising speed 68 mph; range 220-315 miles