Issue: Mar 2007


"Flying Car Company" Takes Off



by Michael Frank

After many years pioneering with well-known parties such as the Dutch Aerospace Laboratory (NLR) creating a flying and driving vehicle, John Bakker formed a management team and recruited employees to start PAL-V Europe. Investors have been found to back the start-up, and currently initiatives are
being taken towards securing more investors to speed up market launch.


Bakker invested 6 years developing a vehicle concept that can fly and
drive: PAL-V (Personal Air and Land Vehicle). A dream Henry Ford already had building the first car. This will be a revolution in door to door mobility soon. In countries with underdeveloped infrastructure it means safe, faster transportation but also in developed countries people save lots of time.


The market response is huge: already 2 million website hits. Daily mails
from people wanting to buy one. Professional applications like surveillance, mobility for aid organisations, post war aid, for private use bringing faster transportation or just big fun.


The PAL-V is a solution to increasing congestion in cities, highways and skyways.


On the ground, the slim, aerodynamic 3-wheel vehicle is comfortable as a luxury car. It has the agility of a motorbike, thanks to its patented 'tilting' system. The rotor and propeller are folded away until PAL-V is ready to fly.


Airborne, it flies under the 4,000 feet floor of commercial air space. With land and air space reaching capacity, this is the last free space.


PAL-V is highly fuel-efficient, powered by an environmentally certified car engine. It runs on petrol but it also runs on biodiesel or bio-ethanol. It reaches speeds up to 200 km/h both on land and in the air.


Soon private flying will no longer be the exclusive domain of executives and celebrities. If infrastructure does not exist or congestion/obstacles block the destination - fly. If the weather is too bad to fly - drive. Driving and flying combined costing little more than an executive saloon car.


The concept is combining two proven technologies. It fits within the new certification regulations that exist since 2005 in the US and Europe.


Next to Bakker the management team now consists of Robert Dingemanse who has championed several successful product launches/business start-ups at Philips and Jim Emanuels/Tacstone, specialised in starting up new businesses. This team has the right skills/experience to turn the concept into a business success.

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