PAL-V: The flying car

PAL-V: The flying car

In 1999, Spark director Robert Barnhoorn and founder John Bakker shared the same dream: to develop a flying car. An innovative new vehicle that performed just as well on the road as in the air. It became the PAL-V: Personal Air and Land Vehicle.

Making dreams come true

It is our business to develop innovative products for entrepreneurs. Helping them to make their dreams come true. From the outset, this special project was also our dream: To be able to drive to a nearby – still to be built  – take-off and landing strip alongside the highway, unfold the rotor and the tail, and to fly to your destination.

Emergency services

A flying car is ideal for emergency services, who need to be on the spot quickly. Or for (developing) countries, where large parts of the land are not equipped with a good road network. The PAL-V is the ultimate flexible, door-to-door transport: fly where you can, and then drive.

Fast on the road and in the air

Before we started on this challenging project, we naturally wanted to know if it was a realistic dream. Robert: “The feasibility study clearly showed that the vehicle is only commercially viable if it functions fully in both drive and fly”. We chose for the gyrocopter principle: easy to operate, safe and reliable.

Tilting principle provides stability

And we combined this with the tilting principle from one of our previous developments, the ground-breaking Carver vehicle. In this way, we solved the long-standing stumbling block of the high centre of gravity – an automatic consequence of the folding wings – in one go.


Aided by numerous sketches, countless CAD-drawings, convincing visualizations to bring in funding, and piles of calculations, together with PAL-V, we developed technically complex parts such as the basic concept, rotor operating system, rotor mast, and righting mechanism. To get a feel for measurements and sight lines, we made a ‘mock-up’ from PVC tubes, wood and textile; now the centrepiece of our studio.

World news

In April 2011, the maiden flight (video 1) of the prototype of the PAL-V made world news. It was also featured on the TV programme 'De Kennis van Nu' (video 2), nominated for the Rotterdam design prize and has appeared in numerous magazines and newspapers.

In the air soon!

Currently, PAL-V N.V. – a consortium of entrepreneurs and investors – are working hard on making the first PAL-V’s commercially available.