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No need to waste hours Just fly out of traffic jams.

The problem of wasting hours after getting stuck in a traffic jam, is about to end. A Dutch company has developed a Personal Air and Land Vehicle (PALV), which deserves to be called a gyrocopter - younger brother of helicopter.

The Dutch did not design it as a solution of traffic jams, hence it needs some at least 165 m (540 ft) to get airborne and 30 m (100 ft) to land.

But one can be sure that ingenuity of Pakistani technicians and drivers will overcome this 'restriction' soon. And they will be able to take off from within a traffic jam.

Getting/ flying out of a traffic jam is also needed because one is more prone to road side 'mini dacoitis' in a jam where young boys force drivers to hand over mobile phones and cash or else be subjected to use of pistol.

According to its maker, this flying Dutchman can reach speeds of 112 miles per hour and uses 1 gallon petrol for 28 miles on the ground. After take off one may unfold auto-rotating main rotor and gas engine propeller extends. It can keep flying for 220-315 miles. Dutch company PALV Europe NV took seven years to finalize the design concept in 2008 and testing a driving prototype in 2009. Now the flying- driving prototype has been put through its paces with video of the PALV's recent successful maiden flight now released.

On the ground the two seat PALV is an aerodynamic tilting three wheeler that is designed to combine handling of a motorbike with a mechanical hydraulic dynamic tilting mechanism automatically adjusting the tilt angle of the vehicle while cornering.

It is powered by a 160 kW flight certified gasoline engine - although there will also be bio-diesel and bio-ethanol versions - which can accelerate the vehicle from 0-100 km/h (62 mph) in under eight seconds, on the way to a top speed of 180 km/h (112 mph). In ground mode the vehicle uses 12 km/l (28 mpg US) of fuel and covers 1,200 km (750 miles).

PALV requires a strip (pavement or grass) of at least 165 m (540 ft) to get airborne and 30 m (100 ft) to land (not necessarily for Pakistani drivers - Editor). After taking off it can reach a maximum speed of 97 knots (180 km/h or 112 mph), with a minimum speed of 27 knots (50 km/h or 31 mph). While flying it consumes 36 l/h (9.5 US gph) of fuel and covers a range of 350-500 km (220-315 miles), depending on the model, payload and wind conditions.

Designed to fly generally below 1,200 m (4,000 ft), PALV flies in the airspace reserved for uncontrolled Visual Flight Rules (VFR) traffic, meaning it can take off in many countries without filing a flight plan. Governments in US and Europe are thinking of developing 'digital freeways' that use GPS to provide a safe corridor to such vehicles.

PALV's main rotor moves slower than a helicopter's rotor, making it quieter and letting it take off and land at lower speeds. The company says THAT even if engine fails, it can be steered and landed safely as the rotor keeps auto rotating.

Measuring 4(L) x 1.6(W) x 1.6(H) m, PALV weighs 680 kg and can carry a maximum load of 230 kg. PALV meets existing regulations making it legal for both road and air use. Obtaining a license requires only 20-30 hours training.

After successful test flights, PALV team will now focus on designing the first commercial model PALV, with first deliveries expected in 2014. PALV Europe says law enforcement agencies, the military, and flying doctors have already expressed interest in the vehicle.
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Publication:Pakistan Engineering Review
Geographic Code:9PAKI
Date:Jan 15, 2013
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