PAL-V Story: Drive to Fly

  Tomáš Nováček stories share

Hans shares truly inspirational story of PAL-V creating the world's first flying car. He describes key factors for the successful adoption of a requirements management tool.

PAL-V Liberty Flying Car

Developing the World's First Flying Car

PAL-V has set itself as a goal to develop and certify the first flying car in the world. Although the company is 15 years old and has 200 people at work, it is still classified as a startup. As the company is at the end of the development and approaching certification, the company is now in the transition to a process based company, which brings the necessity for tools supporting the needs.

Hans Huijsing, Systems Engineer

Hans, the story teller, is the team lead electrical systems and architect, has 27 years of experience in hardware development, systems engineering and project management. Half of his experience is in aerospace, where a process based approach, traceability and evidence are essential. This experience was applied in selecting and implementing Reqview as a tool.

PAL-V Journey to Requirements Management

PAL-V, like many other companies, decided to adopt the systems engineering approach and faced the challenge of finding the right tool. We needed a requirements management solution that was lightweight, budget-friendly, table-based, and, most importantly, flexible. At the start, we were still figuring out how we wanted to implement everything, making flexibility the most critical factor. After evaluating many tools, including DOORS, Jama, and Polarion, we found that these were better suited for larger companies with established processes and bigger budgets.

During our search, we discovered ReqView, which met all our requirements, and it was love at first sight.

The challenges we faced while searching for a requirements management tool included:

  • Budget Constraints: We needed a budget-friendly tool that could meet all our needs.
  • Flexibility: Since we were still defining our processes, we needed a tool that could adapt as our requirements evolved.
  • Complex Requirements: As an aerospace company, we needed a tool that could provide complete traceability and support various engineering processes.
  • Ease of Learning: With our certification approaching fast, there was no time for extensive training, so ‘learning on the job’ was essential.

How PAL-V Solved RM Challenges With ReqView

ReqView seemed inspired by DOORS, using a table-based approach that’s easy to understand, especially for teams migrating from Excel-based requirements management.

ReqView, however, took it a step further by addressing many of the limitations of the DOORS approach and offering greater flexibility, like customizable scripted columns.

Initially, we conducted a pilot program to implement requirements, but the tool was so intuitive and adaptable that we quickly expanded its use to include FMEA’s, verification plans, test procedures, and more. This customization allowed us to achieve full traceability, both top-down and bottom-up, which is crucial in the aerospace industry. Importantly, we were able to manage all this without the need for any external training.

As our dataset grew, so did our ideas on automation, leading us to explore more complex scripts and custom export templates. The support from ReqView proved invaluable in helping us implement these automations. The information on their website is comprehensive, and their responses to support questions were timely and accurate. They took every question seriously, making sure to understand our use case and providing the best solutions.

With ReqView, we quickly realized the benefits:

  • Enhanced Collaboration: The tool’s simplicity and flexibility made it easy for our entire team to collaborate effectively.
  • Streamlined Development Process: The support for automation scripts and custom templates streamlined our development workflow.
  • Responsive Support: ReqView’s support team took every question seriously and offered timely and accurate responses. They listened to our ideas, often translating them into software improvements or adding them to their public product roadmap.

While ReqView has many positives, there are a few limitations, which could be improved:

  • Integrations: Since it's not a database-oriented tool, interacting between projects can be more complex.
  • Limited User Management: The lack of advanced user management required additional safeguards, such as using SVN or Git to undo unwanted actions.

Anyway, we recommend using Reqview in combination with SVN or Git so you can always undo unwanted actions. For us, the tool's benefits outweighed these limitations.


Currently Reqview is mostly used by one team. The next step would be to role it out to all engineers, but also to integrate it further with our PLM system or possibly Jira.


Reqview helped us to mature our requirements and thus help identify issues before the development was done. The traceability analysis, for example, helped to identify missing requirements, over-specifications (gold plating) and conflicting requirements. Due to the easy of use of the tool the engineers work with it themselves, exposing them directly to the requirements and allowing them to improve overall quality. The end result was much more mature designs, a reduction in reviews and fewer design iterations. The end effect is an overall reduction in development time and risks.

Our journey with ReqView demonstrates that even a small, budget-conscious team can successfully implement a robust requirements management tool and achieve outstanding results. If asked whether we would recommend ReqView to others, our answer would be a firm "yes."

Its flexibility, ease of use, and outstanding customer support make it an ideal choice for teams looking for a robust and adaptable requirements management solution.

PAL-V Liberty Flying Car

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