Robert Barnhoorn (Spark director) and initiator John Bakker already shared the same dream back in 1999: to develop a flying car. Today, almost 15 years later, the dream has become a reality with the PAL-V (Personal Air and Land – Vehicle): an innovative new vehicle that performs well both on the road and in the air.
Application of existing knowledge and technology means the PAL-V concept is both financially and technically feasible. For over 20 years we have been involved in the (concept) development of groundbreaking hybrid vehicles. Examples include an electric amphibious vehicle, a seated recumbent bicycle and the Carver One. This car, with its narrow lightweight cabin, has reduced air resistance and has been chosen as the basis for driving the PAL-V.
We chose for autogyro technology from a range of known flying principles: it is relatively easy to control, safe and reliable. This makes it simple to switch from drive- to fly mode: raise the mast with the hydraulic tailpiece on, unfold the rotor and the PAL-V is ready to take off from a short runway.
A driving and flying prototype of the first version of the PAL-V has already been developed and performance tested.
We developed the basic concept of the PAL-V, the rotor control system, the rotor mast with its righting mechanism. This includes a number of supporting systems such as the prerotator, the brakes, the trim and the righting cylinder. In addition, we made an important contribution to the exterior design and the visualisations of this.
A consortium of entrepreneurs have embraced the idea and invested in the product. The Ministries of Economic Affairs and of Infrastructure and the Environment support the plan to construct PAL-V ports, short runways alongside motorways.
Read more here about the history of the flying car.