Inventors, innovators, engineers, and everyone in between have been working to make the flying car dream a reality for many years now. Thanks to the wonders of modern technology, a Dutch company was able to successfully build and test its flying car prototype, the Personal Air and Land Vehicle (PAL-V) One. You can even watch the whole test drive and test flight in the video above, just don’t expect it to also travel through time like Back to the Future’s DeLorean!
While the company describes the PAL-V One as a flying car, it’s actually more of a flying three-wheeled enclosed motorcycle. It uses gyroplane technology for flying, with rotors that fold up when you want to take the vehicle for a spin on land. If and when it becomes commercially available,will be able to fly the PAL-V up to an altitude of 4,000 feet — much lower than the 30,000 to 50,000 feet that commercial jets fly at. Of course, if ever flying cars become a norm, new air traffic rules for their flight ceiling have to be laid down, and you’ll first need to earn a Sport Pilot’s certificate in order to fly the PAL-V One.
Another flying car prototype, the Terrafugia Transition, recently completed its first test flight. Unlike the PAL-V One, the Transition looks more like a traditional car, except it has the wings of an airplane. Both companies hope to bring their products to market, with Terrafugia targeting a late 2012 release date, and PAL-V aiming for 2014. However, even if these vehicles become available, only the super rich will be able to afford them — the Transition has an estimated price tag of $250,000, and the PAL-V One would most likely have a similar price.
The two-seater craft, which has the rounded features of a Fiat 500 and collapsible wings, is on presale for $279,000 and some 100 vehicles have already been ordered.