The PAL-V, or personal air and land vehicle, would drive like a car, take off like a plane, and fly like a gyrocopter. Drawn up by a Dutch firm called Spark Design Engineering, the PAL-V would feature a foldaway rotor and propeller, and a 213-horsepower engine that runs on regular.
But don't get ready to make a down payment just yet. The designers are still waiting for the funding to build a prototype, but they say it would be easy for the average driver to handle, and would fall under the FAA's sport pilot certification category, which means potential owners wouldn't need endless hours of training to operate it legally.
IEEE Spectrum, which reviews the design in a recent issue, suggests that this flying trike, which first turned up a few years, may not get off the ground.—Gregory Mone
Five amazing, clean technologies that will set us free, in this month's energy-focused issue. Also: how to build a better bomb detector, the robotic toys that are raising your children, a human catapult, the world's smallest arcade, and much more.