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  1. #1
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    Flying Car Invented

    Experts have designed the world's first practical flying car aimed at frustrated commuters - and it looks like a Reliant Robin.

    The bizarre three-wheeled vehicle promises relief to motorists stuck in traffic jams by turning into an aircraft capable of soaring up to 4,000ft above congested roads.

    With a top speed of 125mph on land, the Personal Air and Land Vehicle, or PAL-V, corners like a motorbike by automatically tilting as it negotiates each bend. But hidden in its roof and rear are a foldable rotor, propeller and tail section which allow it to take off and fly at speeds up to 120mph.



    Its comical appearance betrays its rapid acceleration from 0 to 60 in just 5 seconds - a far cry from Del Boy Trotter's yellow Robin Reliant in Only Fools and Horses.



    Its inventors believe that when the the one-seater cars go on sale to the public, they would cost little more than an executive saloon car.

    When airborne, the PAL-V is similar to the tiny autogyro aircraft Sean Connery flew in the 1967 James Bond movie 'You Only Live Twice'.

    Called a gyrocopter, the design includes a rotor on the roof to lift it through the air, and a propeller at the rear to provide forward thrust.

    To fly the PAL-V you need a recreational pilot's licence, which takes between 10 and 20 hours training to obtain, while a normal driver's licence covers you for use on the road.

    Experts have spent six years developing concept versions and are now building the first commercial prototype with a view to begin manufacturing the vehicles soon. Their target audience are motorists who are fed up with traffic jams. John Bakker, who invented the PAL-V, said: "Since Henry Ford built the Model T Ford, people have been dreaming of a vehicle that could drive and fly.



    It took almost 90 years before this dream could be realized. Now it will. It's fun, it drives like the most sporty solution on the road and it also flies. This will be a revolution in door to door mobility in the near future.

    In countries with underdeveloped infrastructure it means safe and faster transportation but also in developed countries it will save people lots of time. The PAL-V is a solution to the increasing levels of congestion in our cities, highways and skyways.

    Soon private flying will no longer be the exclusive domain of executives and celebrities. Driving and flying will be combined in one vehicle that could cost little more than an executive saloon car."

    The vehicle needs 165ft to take off in and just 16ft to land, and it can fly for 340 miles under its fuel-efficient and environmentally certified car engine.

    The same engine works for both road and air travel and runs on normal unleaded petrol, which means you can refuel at any roadside service station.

    It can be driven and flown using the same controls by switching between two different modes.

    On the ground, the slim-line vehicle is as comfortable as a luxury car but has the agility of a motorbike, thanks to its patented "tilting" system.

    The single rotor and propeller are folded away until the PAL-V is ready to fly.

    In the air, the PAL-V flies under the 4,000 feet floor of commercial air space and can therefore take to the sky without having to file a flight plan. The autogyro technology means that it can be steered and landed safely even if the engine fails as it descends upright rather than nose-diving.



    Unlike a helicopter, the rotor of an autogyro is driven by aerodynamic forces alone once it is in flight.

    The PAL-V's Dutch makers anticipate a time when such vehicles are so widely used that people will fly along sky highways, directed by GPS and using radar to prevent collisions.

    They also claim there are already plans to build up to 60 heli-sites across their home country to cope with a new era of air traffic.

    They believe it could also be used commercially for surveillance purpose and by emergency services. The project gathered momentum after new European rules made it cheaper and easier to obtain licenses and certification for aircraft under 600kg built using standard components.

  2. #2
    gamerdude
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    I'll take one.

    I'm not sure about finding 165' to take off from, but I'll take one anyway.

    BTW, how much is an executive saloon car?

  3. #3
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    Think Lexus & that sort of thing.

    I'd take one, too.

    Fuck the pilot's licence - how are they going to catch you?

  4. #4
    The Pikey Hunter
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    Quote Originally Posted by Deus Ex
    The PAL-V's Dutch makers anticipate a time when such vehicles are so widely used that people will fly along sky highways, directed by GPS and using radar to prevent collisions.
    Speaking as the holder of a PPL (although not current ) with over 500 hours of P1 time, the only way I can ever see this becoming a reality is if it could only be flown by an auto-pilot, not by the average fcukwit behind the wheel.

  5. #5
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    I'd head for Thailand in it if I got one today.

  6. #6
    gamerdude
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    Gyrocopters are unstable, and accidents in them are quite common.

    I think it would be cool to have one, but they really aren't practical.



    If I had to pick a method to fly around, I think it would be this:

    Ace Craft USA - GEN H-4 - One Man Helicopter



    Take-off right from the parking spot, fly to work, then the bar!




    Woo-hoo! What fun!

  7. #7
    gamerdude
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    ...and only $30k USD - but you have to build it yourself!

  8. #8
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    Sales pitch of the century

    The frame is 2 inch aluminum pipe bent and welded, with a fiberglass backpack and funny looking wheels

  9. #9
    RIP
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    Yep - they land quickly


  10. #10
    En route
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    I see dead people.

  11. #11
    I am in Jail

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    Reminds me of that ugly toothless guy in Road Warrior who flew that ultralight above Mel Gibson while he was driving that bad ass muscle car.

  12. #12
    How Dare You!!
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    Keep your eye on the needle. Running out of petrol halfway to work would be a bummer

  13. #13
    disturbance in the Turnip baldrick's Avatar
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    you can have your reliant robin - I will stick with the audi



    Carter Aviation Technologies - Home Page

  14. #14
    Thailand Expat
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    How do they prevent resident reprobates causing mayhem by taking off along Oxford St? Will we now have multi-level police chases like a computer game, rooftop landing and parking and service depots, winged traffic wardens and top end road rage?

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by keda View Post
    How do they prevent resident reprobates causing mayhem by taking off along Oxford St?
    They don't. That's the beauty of it.

    If I was cruising down the road & the old bill tried to stop me, I would just take off.

    You could rob banks all day long in it & everything.

  16. #16
    gamerdude
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    Quote Originally Posted by Deus Ex View Post
    You could rob banks all day long in it & everything.

    Hmmm....

    A team would need two of them. Can't forget to factor in weight allowances for money bags, guns & masks.

    Suppose it wouldn't have to run on a full tank. Maybe a refuel stop on a rooftop somewhere nearby.

    The local cops would really scratch their heads trying to figure out what to do.


    +/- 60k to get started with a high expected return. Any takers?

  17. #17
    The Pikey Hunter
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    Quote Originally Posted by gamerdude
    The local cops would really scratch their heads trying to figure out what to do.
    I think a stinger missile would be the answer

  18. #18
    watterinja
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    Imagine trying to launch the rotors in a city... lots of rolling heads...

    Stupid idea.

  19. #19
    Cacoethes scribendi
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    Problem is, the police would insist on having a better one. Otherwise they could not catch you, in the same way as they always want faster bikes and cars. On the other hand, if you knocked off a police one, you would be pretty uncatchable. I suspect though, it would take more corruption than England has, at present, to get the project up and running. Any cash left Mr. Toxin?

  20. #20
    Mid
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    The bizarre three-wheeled vehicle promises relief to motorists stuck in traffic jams by turning into an aircraft capable of soaring up to 4,000ft above congested roads
    yea right ........take off 165 ft

    good luck .

  21. #21
    ding ding ding
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    Its a good idea but i cant see it taking off ( ) in Thailand because theres nowhere to put the 16 relatives who want to come along in the back.

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