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Transportation Technology

Flying Car Makes Successful Maiden Flight 249

MistrX writes "The Dutch company PAL-V completed its first series of test flights with its flying car, the PAL-V One, successfully. The PAL-V One flies like a gyrocopter, with a minimal runway length of 165 meters, and drives around like a trike on the road. Furthermore it offers 2 passengers a maximum speed of 180km/h both on land and in the air. The company aims with the PAL-V One at usage within the United States, China, the United Kingdom, Germany and France, because private flying is more commonplace."
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Flying Car Makes Successful Maiden Flight

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 02, 2012 @11:23AM (#39549157)

    ... oh right! The gyrocaptain in Road Warrior. It's nothing more than a glorified autogyro that looks like an old helicopter and a road going trike mated and had offspring.
    Furthermore judging by the lack of bumpers, the non-adjustable tail, and probably a few other things I'm missing, it would never qualify as a road going vehicle in the US, and probably most of Europe, and odds are the tail would be damaged in most urban settings, which, if sold to less than overqualified pilots, would probably result in someone accidentally backing it into a wall, post, etc, and then assuming it doesn't have any damage because 'it was still all together!', will die spectacularly in a crash after their tail shatters due to physical impacts against it's CFRP(Carbon Fiber Reinforced Plastic) rear control surfaces. Additionally, as someone else mentioned: What's it's fuel economy look like? While it's an autogyro and thus should have reasonably good fuel economy, the engine design could have a dramatic effect on that, and even more importantly: what is the lifetime of the bearings and other parts in the rotor assembly? (And engine for that matter!)

  • Gyrocopter (Score:5, Interesting)

    by vlm ( 69642 ) on Monday April 02, 2012 @11:30AM (#39549253)

    From the fine website, I cut and paste this WTF moment "A PAL-V ONE flies exactly like a gyrocopter, which is the easiest and safest way of flying."

    To be polite, I will just say that opinion is not shared by the majority of aeronautical engineers who are not being paid to say it who know about "old style" autogyros. I'm just mister groundschool with a lot of simulator time and only a couple hours PIC and even I LOLed at that quote. I think they hired that "Baghdad Bob" the former Iraqi information minister for that line.

    Autogyros are cool until the rotor stalls and you die, or the rotor seemingly inevitably cuts your head off in a crash landing, or ground resonance sets in and there's nothing you can do about it but die, PIO due to PPO (and possibly PPO is due to PIO?) and you die... There have been some improvements in design which may or may not prevent those control-theory problems, but the "giant rotating wing" cannot be replaced while still calling it a autogyro. Its like saying you could make a motorcycle safe to ride by merely completely enclosing it with windshields and doors, adding conventional seats with seatbelts and airbags, and adding a couple more wheels for enhanced stability, and ta da, a safe "motorcycle", although it not appears to be a Fiat Punto (which is actually a pretty nice small car, I've driven one a couple hundred miles in IRL).

    The main problem with a "car autogyro" is likely to be chopping up pedestrians and bikers. Which is traditionally seen as "OK" when done by drivers, so maybe its not going to be so bad after all.

  • Gyrocycle way ahead (Score:4, Interesting)

    by TheSync ( 5291 ) on Monday April 02, 2012 @01:55PM (#39551155) Journal

    The Molnari Gryocycle [molnari.com] street-legal gyrocopter motorcycle is way ahead!

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