1. The Transition® Street-Legal Airplane is now a significant step closer to being a commercial reality. The production prototype of the Transition® Street-Legal Airplane completed its successful first flight at Plattsburgh International Airport in Plattsburgh, NY on March 23, 2012. The same vehicle has also successfully conducted initial drive and conversion testing, demonstrating the Transition’s capability to provide unmatched freedom, flexibility and fun in personal aviation. Developed by Terrafugia, Inc., the Transition® is a two seat personal aircraft capable of driving on roads and highways, parking in a single car garage, and flying with unleaded automotive fuel.
The Transition’s first flight reached an altitude of 1400’ above the ground and lasted eight minutes while staying in the vicinity of Plattsburgh International Airport. It demonstrated the controllability and safe operational characteristics of the aircraft. Six phases of flight testing are planned to continue development and demonstrate compliance to the Light Sport Aircraft standards.
The Dutch company PAL-V Europe NV has successfully concluded test flights of its flying car, PAL-V (Personal Air and Land Vehicle). During the past two weeks, several test flights were conducted at the Gilze Rijen Airport (The Netherlands). The patented vehicle flies in the air like a gyrocopter with lift generated by an auto-rotating rotor and forward speed produced by a foldable push propeller on the back. On the road it drives like a sports car. No new infrastructure is required because it uses existing roads and airstrips. The Pal-V is expected to cost at 250,000-300,000 euros ($330,000-$400,000) when they are delivered in 2014.
Having conducted successful test flights, the PAL-V team will now focus on the design of the first commercial model PAL-V, with first deliveries expected in 2014. PAL-V Europe says law enforcement agencies, the military, and flying doctors have already expressed interest in the vehicle.
A PAL-V offers the choice of flying like a plane or driving like a car. This means fast door-to-door mobility for private individuals as well as professionals and organizations. The flying range will be between 350 (220 miles) and 500 km (315 miles), depending on the type, pay load and wind conditions. Driving, a PAL-V will have a range of about 1200 km (750 miles). It runs on gasoline like a conventional car and there will also be versions that use biodiesel or bio-ethanol. It can reach speeds of up to 180 km/h (110 miles/h) both on land and in the air
Brian Wang is a Futurist Thought Leader and a popular Science blogger with 1 million readers per month. His blog Nextbigfuture.com is ranked #1 Science News Blog. It covers many disruptive technology and trends including Space, Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, Medicine, Anti-aging Biotechnology, and Nanotechnology.
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