Flying car school takes off in Utah

ST. GEORGE — Ever since the Jetsons debuted in 1962, the sentiment at one time or another has been clear: Where is my flying car?

The PAL-V prototype flying car is in the air recently in The Netherlands. The company has opened up a flight school in Roosevelt to train people who have committed to buy the vehicle when it is released. The Netherlands, undated | Photo courtesy of www.pal-v.com, St. George News
The Pal-V prototype flying car in the air recently. The company has opened up a flight school in Nephi to train people who have committed to buy the vehicle when it is released. Netherlands, undated | Photo courtesy of www.Pal-V.com, St. George News

Pal-V, a Dutch company, is finally bringing that sentiment home. And Utah is the first United States training ground for the pilots.

The company recently opened a training ground for its aircraft, called the Pal-V One, in Nephi. Pal-V, for personal air and land vehicle, is essentially a roadable gyrocopter, rather than an airplane, that can travel on city streets as a normal car would.

The magic happens when the driver pushes a few buttons and the transformation occurs. A mast is lifted into position by motors and rotors appear. A tail comes out of hiding in the back and locks into place. A propeller unfolds from the back of the vehicle.

It takes about 10 minutes, but once the cycle is complete a short takeoff (just under 600 feet) is all that’s required and the vehicle can take off and fly at over 100 mph up to 250 miles on a tank of unleaded gasoline.

Limitations are few. The vehicle will only hold two people, maximum weight limit is 540 pounds. A person must have a full pilot’s license to fly one. The vehicle is designed to travel at under 4,000 feet.

The PAL-V prototype flying car in road position. The company has opened up a flight school in Roosevelt to train people who have committed to buy the vehicle when it is released. The Netherlands, undated | Photo courtesy of www.pal-v.com, St. George News
The PAL-V prototype flying car in road position. The company has opened up a flight school in Nephi to train people who have committed to buy the vehicle when it is released. Netherlands, undated | Photo courtesy of www.Pal-V.com, St. George News

The school in Nephi is currently training on existing gyroplanes. Unlike helicopters, the rotors on a gyroplane are not powered by an engine, so it can neither vertically take off or land nor hover.

A propeller on the back of the gyroplane creates horizontal thrust and as the gyroplane moves, the rotor blades rotate, creating lift.

“The fact that clients get to learn to fly their flying car in a mountain setting is simply added value,” Vice-President of Sales for Pal-V in North America Mark Jennings-Bates said in a press release. “(It) will also serve to demonstrate how stable the Pal-V flying car platform is in mountain winds.”

The gyroplane is considered safer than a helicopter because if the engine stalls, the aircraft can still glide to the ground safely.

Jennings-Bates said the design of the production model will be a bit different than the prototype.

“It’s got a very distinct Italian sports car flair to it. It’s very James Bond.”

Consumers should be able to purchase a Pal-V flying car in 2018, if current projections hold. The initial cost will be between $300,000 and $500,000 per vehicle, depending on options and models.

“(W)e are on track for 2018 (for the release of the Pal-V) and the school is (going) good,” Jennings-Bates said in a Facebook chat. “Everything is going according to plan.”

Then maybe we can go to work on a real hoverboard.

Note: Video above is provided courtesy of www.pal-v.com.

Email: rwayman@stgnews.com

Twitter: @STGnews | @NewsWayman

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2016, all rights reserved.

 

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4 Comments

  • Common Sense December 5, 2016 at 7:55 am

    Great….I can already see the headlines… gyro copter pilot in training crashes and takes out family of four while hiking. Note. Family dog survives with minor injuries. (maybe they should have started with the hover board)

  • .... December 5, 2016 at 8:28 am

    LOL ! let’s see what kind of government conspiracy theory Bob comes up with this ! ha ha ha ha ha

    • Real Life December 5, 2016 at 12:20 pm

      Good ones Dumpster #1 and Dumpster #2.

  • wilbur December 5, 2016 at 12:04 pm

    The price tag for this vehicle demonstrates nicely the four forces that make aircraft fly:

    A) lift
    B) thrust
    C) drag
    D) money

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