This one fantasy that has lingered on and been reinforced by cartoons, movies and novels is that of having a flying car – think Jetsons – and to never have to worry about a traffic jam. However, this fantasy is no longer a fantasy for the world’s first flying motorcycle is on sale now under the name of Pal-V One Helicycle.
This flying motorcycle is a hybrid car and gyrocopter with seating capacity of two persons. The motorcycle is road and air legal; however, you will need a Sports Pilot Certificate to fly it. It’s been two years since the Pal-V made its maiden flight and now it available in market for a price tag of $395,999.
Built by the Dutch, it is capable of achieving speeds of around 112Mph while going from 0-60Mph in less than 8 seconds when on road. It can be bought from the retailer Hammacher Schemmler that is selling it under the name of The Helicycle despite the fact that its design and specs are same as Pal-V’s.
You might think that because of its helicopter-look it won’t need a runway, but you are wrong. It does require a 540’ runway in order to execute the take off. It does resemble a helicopter once it is in flight mode, however, the more technical and accurate name is gyrocopter or autogyro since the main power is generated from the rotors located at the rear end of the vehicle. When compared to a helicopter; the rotors spin quite slower and can’t stall. The vehicle handling lies between that of a motorbike and a racing car when it is in drive mode.
Oh and one more thing, it can’t just extend its rotors and then fly off into the sky but rather the process requires about 10 minutes to complete. As the engine stops, the propeller is folded automatically into the driving position after which a button is pressed that lowers the rotor mast into the horizontal position whereas the blades and tail have to be stowed away by the user.
Pal-V says in a statement; ‘On the ground the vehicle drives like a sports car. Within minutes its rotor is unfolded and its tail is extended: then it is ready to take off thanks to the advanced gyrocopter technology. With these successful test results it is proven that it is not only possible to build a flying car but also that it can be done within existing international rules for both flying and driving.’
The Helicycle comes with a 230hp, 4-cylinder engine that employs petrol and a 27-gallon fuel tank that allows the user to fly for about 220 miles or drive for 750 miles. The vehicle weighs 1,500 pounds and is made up of carbon fiber, aluminum and titanium.