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transition | pal v | terrafugia transition | World Trends

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Flying Car

Flying Car

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Flying CarFlying cars aren’t just science fiction anymore. Woburn, Mass.-based Terrafugia Inc. said Monday that its prototype flying car has completed its first flight, bringing the company closer to its goal of selling the flying car within the next year. The vehicle, dubbed the Transition, has two seats, four wheels and wings that fold up so it can be driven like a car. Last month, it flew at 1,400 feet for eight minutes. Commercial jets fly at 35,000 feet.

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.

When you imagine a flying car, it usually looks like something out of The Jetsons or Back to the Future. Sadly, today’s flying cars look more like lackluster Transformers. Not that the newly announced PAL-V One isn’t cool. On the ground, the tiny vehicle runs on three wheels like some kind of car/motorcycle hybrid. Once you find some open space, you simply pop out the tail, lift the rotors and voila! Instant helicopter.

With the PAL-V last appearing on our pages way back in 2004, you’d be forgiven for thinking that this is just another flying car concept that never made it off the ground. But Dutch company PAL-V Europe NV has been busy in the past seven years having finalized the design concept in 2008 and testing a driving prototype in 2009. Now the flying-driving prototype has been put through its paces with video of the PAL-V’s recent successful maiden flight now released.

Flying cars are moving from science fiction to reality with successful test flights in the United States and the Netherlands. U.S. company Terrafugia and the Dutch company Pal-V Europe NV are both seeking to build vehicles that would be street and air legal. The Terrafugia Transition took off from New York’s Plattsburgh International Airport on March 23. The maker of the PAL-V, or Personal Air and Land Vehicle, announced that it had made several test flights at the Gilze Rijen Airport in The Netherlands.

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