Five decades ago, The Jetsons predicted that we would be flying our families in airborne cars. Experts believe this dream is very close to reality.

The Pal-V One Helicycle – a two-seat hybrid car and gyrocopter, has now been voted the ‘most likely to become a reality.

Pal-V can switch between drive and fly mode. It will be available for sale next year
Pal-V can switch between drive and fly mode. It will be available for sale next year

Robert Dingemanse, the firm’s CEO, promises significant updates in coming months as the firm begins manufacturing a limited edition model. The firm also says it is ‘very advanced’ in certifying the product in Europe under EASA CS 27 regulations.

The two-seater vehicle converts from a three-wheeled motorcycle to a gyrocopter in 10 minutes. It has 230hp, four-cylinder engine and reaches speeds of up 112 mph in the air or on the road.

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It goes from 0 to 60mph in under 8 seconds.

The gyrocopter is designed to cruise at low altitudes (below 4,000ft) and it requires a 165 metre runway for take-offs. For landing, it needs just 30 metres.

The 27-gallon gas tank provides a 220-mile flight range (750 miles on the road).

But it will not go mainstream soon, as owners require a Sports Pilot Certificate to fly it. And there also the small issue of $600,000 price tag.

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‘When you have a prestigious brand like Top Gear referring to our vehicle as the world’s first plausible flying car and now Maxim men’s magazine giving us a thumbs up for the world’s first real flying car, it means a lot,’ said the firm’s Vice President of Sales in North America, Mark Jennings-Bates. 

‘We have recently started talking to buyers and have the first contracts in place and a lot of interest.

‘We anticipate deliveries of a certified PAL-V in North America to happen in 2018.’

‘On the ground the vehicle drives like a sports car,’ said Pal-V. ‘Within minutes its rotor is unfolded and its tail is extended: then it is ready to take off thanks to the advanced gyrocopter technology.’

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