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.
Of all the “flying car”-type vehicles currently in development, Terrafugia’s Transition Street-Legal Airplane
is quite likely the one that’s closest to actual commercial availability. Yesterday, the New York-based company announced that on March 23rd, one of two production prototypes of the vehicle successfully completed its maiden flight.
The team at Scaled Composites pulled out all the stops to realize the final design of the company’s founder and former CTO, Burt Rutan, ahead of his retirement in April earlier this year. In just four months, the Scaled Composites team went from beginning the preliminary design to the first flight of the “BiPod”, a hybrid gasoline-electric flying car that grew out of a program to develop a rapid, low-cost electric test bed using as many off-the-shelf components as possible.
If you've ever watched your Parrot AR Drone
power through the air and wondered what it would be like to be inside such a craft, the announcement of the Air Car project could be the answer you are looking for. The folks behind the development of the SoloTrek/Springtail Exoskeleton Flying Vehicle
have revealed plans to create the world's first fuel-electric hybrid flying car.
A European Union project known as myCopter has set aside funds of €4.2 million (US$6.2m) to investigate the possibility of introducing Personal Aerial Vehicles (PAVs) into the skyways of many congested European cities. This coming age of the "flying car
" where vehicles leave the roads and launch into the skies promises to solve problems like dramatically rising urban traffic congestion, but it also throws up some formidable challenges - it's these challenges that the myCopter project aims to address.
The company behind the first FAA approved "roadable aircraft" – the Terrafugia Transition
– has been selected to contribute to DARPA's Transformer (TX) Project
, a program that aims to bring flying car technology to the battlefield. Terrafugia will subcontract to one of two winning teams under phase one of the program which focuses on creating a conceptual design for a four person cross between a Humvee and a helicopter for use in insurgency, reconnaissance, medical evacuation and logistical supply.
What began in Milwaukee in 1953 as a get-together for aircraft enthusiasts has grown into the most well known event on the aviation calendar. EAA AirVenture – also known as Oshkosh after the town where it now takes place – rightly deserves the title of the world's greatest aviation celebration. Everyone around the globe with an interest in flying wants to be here and each year around 10,000 aircraft and half a million visitors make the pilgrimage. The 2010 event wrapped up today, so after a week of enjoying all the neck-straining action and cutting edge aviation technology on show, it's time to take a look back at EAA AirVenture 2010
We’ve certainly seen some high-tech wonders over the past week at AirVenture 2010
, but sometimes it’s the relatively low-tech aircraft that are the most inspiring. That’s certainly the case with the Maverick, a flying car from Florida’s I-TEC (Indigenous People's Technology and Education Center). The Maverick could fairly accurately be described as a combination dune buggy and powered parachute, not unlike the Parajet Skycar
. While I-TEC initially plans on raising funds by selling Mavericks to recreational users, they ultimately hope to put the vehicles to use in impoverished African nations, where missionary pilots can use them to deliver medical supplies.
Terrafugia has released specifications and computer graphics of its next generation flying-car
design. The company made use of the world's biggest aviation industry platform – AirVenture 2010
– to detail the future shape of its Transition Roadable Aircraft
which sports automotive-style crash safety features, a touch-screen interface, improved wing design and a folding mechanism that can be activated from inside the vehicle... plus sleeker lines than the proof of concept vehicle we've seen previously.
One of the first to respond to the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency's (DARPA's
) call seeking designs for a tactical flying car
under its Transformer (TX) program is the AVX Aircraft Company. Its AVX Aircraft can be manually driven on the ground like an SUV and also boasts Vertical Takeoff and Landing (VTOL) capabilities.