Video: Dutch flying car takes maiden flight
(CBS/AP) - A Dutch company is close to achieving the dream of every motorist ever stuck in a traffic jam: the ability to lift off and fly over it. PAL-V Europe NV recently tested a half-plane, half-car hybrid that promises to cruise through the sky as easily as it cruises down the highway. The flying car is known as the PAL-V (Personal Air and Land Vehicle.) A promotional video provided by the company shows the PAL-V in action, including its maiden flight.
The three-wheeled vehicle has been in development since 2008. The sleek design is an impressive blend of land- and aircraft. Retractable rotors power the vehicle in flight, but slide behind the PAL-V during ground transport. The top speed of the craft is reportedly the same on land or in the air: over 100 miles-per-hour.
Most impressively of all, the PAL-V is street as well as air legal. Anyone with a drivers license - as well as a private pilot's license - can captain the flying car.
"You can drive like a car with your normal car, then you can fly like a plane but in one vehicle." PAL-V CEO Robert Dingemanse says. "So if you want to fly over a mountain you can do that and then drive at the other end and go to your destination or fly over water or past a traffic jam, of course. All those kind of things are possible now."
With their initial concept car apparently a success, the PAL-V company is now looking for investors to take the project into commercial production. Probable customers for the flying car include police and rescues services.
"Our customers are ranging from private persons but also police. We talk to police, but also aid, flying doctors for example to fly from island to island where there's no roads you can fly." Dingemanse told reporters.
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