Whenever we think of the future, everybody always wants a flying car.
And that is now a reality and here to talk with us about their product pal V is the CEO and founder of pal v. Robert Dana Monson.
Hi, how are you?
I actually, yeah, thank you.
I’m very well.
We’re enjoying a lot of positive milestone so very good starting the year.
Tell us a little bit about that positive milestone.
This is a really big deal for pal v Liberty which is your flagship flying car, a true flying car.
So a flying car is something which flies and drives and nowadays that’s not that obvious because everybody calls everything a flying car nowadays.
But in terms of a flying car which flies and drives, it needs to be allowed to fly and drive.
So we started test flying already in 2012 started to build our commercial product since then.
And we recently got full road admission for the European roads and many other roads in the world.
And also we got full agreement with a as our certifying our vehicle for Europe and many other countries in the world, about the whole rule set we have to comply with And that took us about seven, eight years to come to that agreement as a as I.
So two big milestones the past in the second half of last year.
And that’s a very good basis now to do the last in aviation technology, tiny part of about one and a half years of final certification.
To really be able to give peace to customers.
That is awesome.
That is really exciting for Pal V.
It is, yeah.
Can you tell us a little bit about Pal V for people who are unfamiliar with Pal V who have who have never heard of pelvic you tell us a little bit about how the company started when it started.
And also, you mentioned having spent A really long time getting a lot of these certifications.
So tell us a little bit about the PAL v journey.
Yeah, so, actually the first sketches dates from 1999.
And that’s not very unusual in aviation development.
15 to 20 years are a normal time to develop an aviation vehicle from first sketches to really be in the market.
So there was the Dutch Aerospace Research Laboratories, small nozzle type of organization and our aeronautics University, they work together.
Till 2007, two patents and bring up this concept.
And then I was approached actually by some partners of KPMG, who was set we have a flying car which ticks all the boxes, which was hard to believe.
But we really hit our own due diligence and it really did take all the boxes.
So We invested in the company created a team and since then we have been on this journey which for me started in 2006.
So it’s this has been this has been quite a journey when you talk about a journey it’s been for this will be 15 years.
Yeah, that’s right.
And of course we had expectations that it would go faster so we had to learn how the real aviation world works and we are not only building a flying car, we are also creating.
And we have almost created a professional aviation company, which is certified to design produce, maintain aviation vehicles and also train customers.>> Yeah, so this is actually something I wanted to ask you about.
I was looking at your website, and I noticed that you have a flight school because obviously I might be able to get a driver’s license pretty easily, but I think getting a pilot’s license is a little bit different, and to be able to operate pelvis anybody who owns one is going to have to have both.
And so, you have a flight school that pelvis offers.
Will you be expanding that to as many countries as you can?
Will it be sort of maybe kind of licensed out to flight schools, let’s say here in the United States?
How do you envision that flight school and that part of the business sort of rolling out over time?
So, flying car, is very different from normal flying.
Most of flying nowadays is done in small planes, by people who like flying, but not for mobility.
While a flying car you can really use, for mobility, because it takes you from door to door.
Which means our customers are also different kinds of customers then the hobby pilots.
Our customers want a very efficient and effective way of getting trained for their licence and get Getting their license is not part of their hobby.
And that means that we have created a way of training with the worldwide guru of gyrocopter training, who is our heads of flight training.
We have created a complete different way of getting trained.
It’s an adventure.
And, above all, it makes you a very safe pilot.
So we have created a school in the Netherlands now, which is so said the mother of the flight drive academies.
But yes, we have cooperations in the works with other schools in different countries to further expand our training network which of course comes ahead.
Of delivering to customers.
People can use this only when they have their flight license.
And well, it’s the gyroplane, which I mentioned, which is completely different than a helicopter.
So those people think of our vehicle as a helicopter, but it’s not.
Yeah, this is so, this was my next question.
So we have seen a lot of vertical takeoff landing vehicles we’ve seen a lot of autonomous passenger drones a lot of different options for Aerial mobility on a smaller scale than say a plane.
Why a flying car?
Why both Why?
Why not one or the other a fully autonomous drone for example, or a fully autonomous car.
So what why is specifically this Vehicle why pal v.
So autonomy is something which will come in aviation too.
And of course that will take away the need for flight license.
And autonomy is expected actually to take still 10 to 15 years.
So also those he vetoes, you see the serious companies who are working on that.
They have a pilot on board.
And so and actually McKenzie has done recently a study about the Vito air taxi market and they see, flight training is one of the biggest Challenges are half of these markets.
And yes, that’s also for us.
We make a airplane which you can really use for mobility.
It takes a different way of training.
You need about 45 hours of training so it’s not that much.
But still you need to do a theoretical exam to know everything which is there to know around flying.
So that’s the hurdle which will be taken away by autonomous flight.
So, autonomy will also come in our market segments.
This on the other side also a complete difference.
In application between something which flies and drives, which can can take you from any door to any door and something which only flies which can take you from a station or a platform to a station or platform.
So, although they are sometimes both cold Flying cars, actually the Eevee tolls, drones, whatever you want to call them, they are a replacement of the helicopter.
taking you from station to station as a service mostly, and still not a door to door mobility solution while flying car gives you the freedom like you’re having a normal car.
You can go from any door to any door.
Making use of existing infrastructure and taking your vehicle wherever you want and changing your journey whenever you want reaching any destination you want.
And but yes, both markets have a big future and we play in the flying car domain.
We do have developments going on for the air taxi domain because that requires the same capabilities as we have been building over the last 15 years.
That’s really cool.
Okay, so, So, I live in Los Angeles and let’s say I’m ready for my blade runner future.
I want a flying car.
And I’ve got it parked in my driveway.
I take it and there’s a lot of traffic.
How do how does Pal V envision.
A personal journey from door to door you talk about that door to door experience that you couldn’t get from something like an autonomous passenger drone.
So how do you envision that experience is it that I, You know, it reminds me a little bit of Back to the Future right where I have to hit a certain speed and then I can take off so how how does that.
I tie into, my experience as, an owner of pal v, what does that look like for, a person who would buy one of these?
So you will, during your breakfast you will look at your iPad and say I want to go from here to here.
Your pelvis will advise you how to drive to the nearest place where you can take off and then it will guide you to the place where you land and from there you drive to your door and it’s as easy as that.
That’s, it sounds so simple.
Okay, so, I’m really trying to make sure that I’ve got all my bases covered here.
So All right, I am gonna check.
It’ll tell me where to take off.
It’ll tell me where to land.
How, with in the US with the FAA.
I’m sure you’re working with them.
How does that work?
What I have to notify Have a flight tower nearby that I was going to take off.
What’s that process as well?
Is that something that you envision would be baked into the experience of finding that location to take off it would then notify automatically or get you permission or or some type of check from the FAA or a nearby flight control tower?
How does how does that function Yeah, that it of course depends a lot on from where to when you wanna go.
So the places which are available in the US at the moment is around 15,000 small airstrips which are spread all over the country Where you’re always allowed to take over the land.
There’s regulations in place that you can take over land from your own property, if it’s possible, but of course not in the sense of Los Angeles.
You can imagine roaming somewhere that’s not a problem.
Yeah, I can’t think of any I can’t think of any places in downtown LA that would enable me to take ballet [INAUDIBLE]
[INAUDIBLE] downtown will be guided to a small aspect which is available in the LA area.
And from there you will probably be guided to a place where you can land in the area and then drive home.
So and then the air is divided in what is called controlled airspace and uncontrolled airspace.
So controlled airspace is controlled by traffic control and control that space you can fly wherever you want on visual So this is part of your education how you deal with this.
So assume you fly from a small airstrip to a small small airstrip two uncontrolled airspace.
It’s actually that simple.
You don’t have to do anything you go there you take off your land and you drive on.>> I learned something new today about about craft flying.
Okay, so you.
Take off from a more busy area, you need a flight plan.>> Okay.
And the flight plan you have to file and get approval for it.>> And that’s the thing I was curious about.
But nowadays there’s already software available for small aircraft where you just on your iPad plan your journeys your file sent In ten minutes you have an acknowledgement that you can do the trip and then you fly the trip.
Nice, okay, so all right.
I feel pretty good about this, I’m in.
Unfortunately the cost is a little prohibitive for me.
So let’s talk about the cost.
So [UNKNOWN] On the website when I when I went to go put in my pre order because I’m very excited about flying cars, I it’s 509 $9,000 and $600,000 here in the US pretty pretty pricey for, for a an average consumer but You guys mentioned a sport edition that you’re working on.
And there was something a little bit reminiscent for me of the way Tesla has rolled out its vehicles and its fleet in that obviously more expensive, but the original roadster wasn’t cheap.
And the idea was to start at the top and make this sort of Very high end luxury vehicle with all the bells and whistles, all the options and then use that capital to continue making more products and more of a lineup that is more easily accessible.
By the masses, is that something that pal v has planned or do you do you envision the company continuing to make sort of just high end luxury vehicles.
If you look at aviation, it will always be more expensive than just.
So it will never be for the Masters, maybe as a service, but not to own those vehicles.
And still we expect of course to develop this company having different ranges of vehicles for different applications.
And that means that If you look at the research is available at the moment this market is expected to grow into a value of trillions in 20 years time.
So, in the short time, which in aviation is five to 10 years, it will be pretty high end in the market.
But it’s expected over the next decades to grow into a very significant market with volumes so that many people can experience it either as being an owner of a vehicle or just buy the service because somebody else is owning this is offering the service.
I just need to find.
Like 1000 friends to just go in with me, we can all chip in [LAUGH] Fun.>> Actually, we already have a number of vehicles which are reserved by people who do it as a group.>> Wow, that’s really interesting.
That’s that’s that is super interesting.
So in the process of you you’ve recently gotten your I know I watched the video of pal v getting its license plates, which was very exciting for for you guys,
Okay, In the process of bringing pal V to the US which most a lot of our viewers are here in the US, where are you in that process?
Is it is it as close as you are in Europe or is it a little bit farther away?
What’s your estimation?
Yeah, of course a little bit farther away.
We have already sold out the first year of production.
So by definition, it will be further away.
Well, that’s what we call a good Good problem.
Of course, yeah, we enjoy that problem.
But we have done preparations already in the US people from the US can reserve it and we actually have worked together with some other people who are starting to launch flying cars with the government of New Hampshire to adapt the New Hampshire law.
For flying cars.
So we have people on the ground working actually with your legislators.
We have people on sales, we have people in training.
So it will come in the US but a little bit later than you Europe and is the is the planned rollout.
I know the website had said 2021.
Is the planned rollout, still 2021 or has the pandemic moved that forward?
What is what does that process been like?
And have you experienced any significant delays because of the pandemic Yeah, unfortunately, dynamic is affecting everybody and also us.
So it’s more like 2022 when we will start first deliveries.
And that has to do with many aspects which the pandemic affects.
It’s the availability of people at the government a aza But also the cooperation with suppliers is hampered a bit efficiency of your employee is not as good as it should be.
Some things you cannot do because you are not allowed to physically work together with many people.
So it did have an effect but.
We were fortunate having a very stable and big investor base who is funding us through the pandemic and that helps us a lot in making sure we will be in the market than a little bit later.
That’s really good.
I’m glad to hear that and one of the things I thought was very interesting about pal V is it is gas powered.
And we’ve seen a very big, we see a lot of enthusiasm for electric and every now and again at CES, increasingly so over the last few years we’ve seen more and more electric.
Flight concepts, a lot of prototypes for electric flight.
Obviously, the this initial version of pal v the Liberty is gas powered.
Do you guys envision going fully electric Is this something that you feel will probably always need?
Some type of gas, power what are the company’s plans for a more environmentally friendly version of healthy?
That’s a very important question for aviation in general.
So, aviation weight is the most important thing and weight and batteries don’t go very well together.
So it’s an excellent point.
If you realize that one kilo of general Kirk petrol takes 37 times more energy than the best batteries per kilo we have nowadays 37 times.
And that’s not prohibitive in a car.
But electric cars are very heavy, but for a plane, it’s prohibitive.
So the best Concepts we have nowadays for electric flying are fixed wing aircraft, which don’t do vertical takeoff because vertical takeoff takes a lot of energy and then a vertical takeoff vehicle is also not very efficient in flying forward So if you take for example, one of those drones which you put people in, it’s a one person drone.
It’s the hang for example, out of China, they flight 10 minutes.
That’s current state of affairs with the current battery weights.
Which may be to do a hop in a city and overcome some congestion is a good application, both for flying car going from any door to any door and fly in our case, over 300 miles in one go.
It will still take some time when you can do that with.
That make sense.
There’s no batteries known yet which can enable this.
But when we can of course we will.
And other way of making flying cars greener is using h2.
And another way is actually synthetic fuels.
So you take solar energy you make diesel out of it, and you put it in a in a tank which is actually done for example in a pilot plant by Aldi nowadays.
So there’s different routes which might play out for different segments and different ways.
In the end, it will have to becomes CO2 natural.
But that doesn’t mean it’s not just fuel.
Only fuel comes out of solar energy and old anymore out of the ground.
So we have prepared for all of those and the platform a stretch can take different solutions once they mature.
That’s that’s really interesting.
I haven’t I hadn’t thought of those other.
Options that would be available whenever we think electric we just are or at least see at least neutral, carbon neutral.
We think of batteries, we think of fully electric vehicles.
For long range flying, that’s probably not the outcome to be in the next 10-20 years.
That makes sense.
Well, what’s one thing and we’ll wrap this up but what’s one thing that you think people should know about pal V and, and where you believe, let’s say in the next five years, we always like to look forward at CES in the next five years Where do you envision pal v.
About how many vehicles are you hoping to have out there?
Both on the road and in the skies?
That’s of course the the important question.
So we are sure we will make more than a small aviation company because it’s much more useful.
It’s easy to fly.
All the small aviation companies nowadays they sell between about 500 to 1000 a year.
So we do we’ll do a multiple of that.
If we look at research on the other hand of JP Morgan, KPMG and others, it will be much much, much more in future so.
Yeah, who knows.
We are prepared to follow the markets.
We are building up our order book, people can reserve the pelvis now.
And the very good data point at the moment, for example is that in the Netherlands we have sold already much, much more than we have ever expected.
So, yeah, there’s a good future ahead of us.
Great well if I ever find myself in the Netherlands Am I able to drop in and just get a get a quick car a flying car ride?
Am I able to do that?>> Well depends on when.
So as long as we are in this face our test pilots will be the only one flying the flying cars And once it’s verified and safe, we are able to take passengers.
But we can give you a lesson in our fly drive Academy where we teach people how to fly gyro planes, which are actually the same way you fly healthy and say we can have you fly and drive and our simulators, We’ll give you the full experience>> That sounds fantastic as soon as I’m able to go anywhere once [LAUGH] .I’ll let you guys know.
Robert, thank you so much for stopping by and talking to us about pal v liberty and the future of mobility both On the ground and in the sky, if you’re interested in anything a pal V, you can check out their website pal dash v.com.
And until next time be good humans.
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