Tuesday, April 03, 2018 by Frances Bloomfield
Those who have dreamed of owning a flying car have had their prayers answered by PAL-V International. This Dutch company is now taking pre-orders for the world’s first commercially available flying car, the PAL-V Liberty.
Making its debut at the 2018 Geneva Motor Show, the PAL-V Liberty appears to be a cross between a helicopter and three-wheeled vehicle. Though not as sleek as other flying cars, this dual-engine, self-stabilizing craft boasts an impressive array of specs.
On the road, the top speed of the PAL-V Liberty clocks in at almost 100 mph or about 160 km/hour. In the air, its top speed goes up to about 112 mph or 180 km/hour. The maximum altitude comes to about 11,000 feet while its highest air range is around 350 mi or 500 km; but this is assuming that the PAL-V Liberty is flown by a single pilot and has a good 30 minutes of reserve fuel.
In addition to these difference in capabilities, interested buyers can expect a score of other useful features. The maximum take-off weight is a hefty 910 kg and, depending on the passengers’ weights, the baggage and fuel capacities top off at 100 liters. Curve stabilization makes it so that turbulence and gusts of wind don’t rock the vehicle too much. Driving it around winding roads gives a unique “tilting sports car” feel. Rounding it off is a full-leather interior one would normally find in the most lavish of luxury vehicles.
Don’t expect to switch from road mode to flight mode in a flash, however. Manually transforming the PAL-V Liberty can take as little as five minutes and as long as 10. Moreover, actually achieving lift-off will require about 330 m of take-off distance, while landing it will need a sizeable distance of 30 m. (Related: Would you ride in a drone? Self-flying taxi will have parachutes but no driver.)
Those who find the PAL-V Liberty’s allure too difficult to resist should expect to shell out a large sum for it. According to CNBC.com, the asking price for the first limited edition model (of which only 90 will be available) is about 499,000 euros or 621,500 U.S. dollars. The PAL-V Liberty Sport Edition will cost a slightly more reasonable 299,00 euros or 367,542.76 U.S. dollars. And, of course, anyone who plans on taking this vehicle for a spin on and off the ground should have both a driver’s license and a pilot’s license.
Don’t worry about how to get the latter as PAL-V has partnered with certified flying schools and instructors. As per their website, would-be students can expect about 30 to 40 training hours, the minimum number of hours required by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).
The craft has been certified by the FAA in the United States and the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA). These two certifications are recognized by most countries around the world, though the company intends on certifying the PAL-V in every country over time.
People who have already placed their orders can expect to receive their PAL-V Liberties by 2019.
Visit FutureScienceNews.com to remain updated on the PAL-V Liberty and the other flying cars of tomorrow.