The PAL-V: Does this Dutch flying car have what it takes to succeed?

Earlier this week, we posted a reality check about the Terrafugia’s Transition flying car but a recent post by Scott Spangler on JetWhine has brought our attention to the PAL-V (Personal Air and Land Vehicle) – a Dutch designed flying car concept that may or may not hold more promise. The PAL-V has recently made its maiden flight in the Netherlands and the company behind it is also seeking financing to commercialize the concept.

Specifically, the PAL-V is a two-seat three-wheel motorcycle that drives like a sports car but comes with a gyrocopter along with a fold-away rotor, prop and tail. According to the company’s website, the PAL-V will usually fly below 1,200 meters or 4,000 feet – the airspace that is available for uncontrolled Visual Flight Rules (VFR) traffic and away from commercial air traffic. It also runs on gasoline, has short take off and landing (STOL) capabilities and can reach speed of up to 180 km/h (112 mph) on both land and in the air.

If the company succeeds in getting financing, the first PAL-V will be ready for delivery in 2014. However, there appears to be no price set just yet for commercial production but someone did post the following comment on YouTube:

The PAL-V is expected to cost between €250,000 and €300,000 ($321,000-$385,000 USD) – so you could be better off buying a brand new Robinson helicopter (which sell from about $250,000) and a pair of Holden Barinas at $12490 a piece – one for either end of your flight.

Its worth pointing out that Scot Spangler asked in his post just how many people out there are going to be willing to spend $300,000 and then spend 6 months learning how to fly a car but if the PAL-V has a reasonable price point, it may attract a good number of well-heeled buyers. On the other hand and if the PAL-V is going to cost €250,000 and €300,000, I suspect the concept will have limited appeal beyond a few jetsetters.

Nevertheless, it would be really cool to walk into a rent-a-car agency and rent a flying car instead for the weekend!

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