Be it Harry Potter or Back to the Future, the fascination for flying cars has always been there. While several futuristic projects are under way in different countries, a Dutch design may be the first one sold and soaring into the sky.
PAL-V was founded in 2007 by Robert Dingemanse and pilot John Bakker. The world’s first commercial flying cars could soon take off from UK roads. The cross-breed vehicle between a car and a helicopter has been designed by Dutch company Pal-V and the first model is expected to roll off the production line in 2018.
After years of testing, the PAL-V company aims to chime its competitors to the post. It is self-assured to start production on what they bill as a world first: a three-wheeled gyrocopter-type vehicle which can carry two people and will be certified for use on the roads and in the sky.
“This kind of dream has been around for 100 years now. When the first airplane was invented people already thought ‘How can I make that drivable on the road?’,” chief marketing officer Markus Hess said.
According to Pal-V, its Liberty vehicle is in line with all existing air and road regulations. Liberty is a gyroplane, which like a helicopter has large horizontal rotor blades but the difference is that these rotors are powered by the wind. The forward motion comes from a propeller at the back of the vehicle, which is equipped with two 100 horses engines – with an additional one for safety. In the air, Liberty can fly up to 110mph and 100mph on the road.
Pal-V says it takes 10 minutes to switch from driving to flying mode and, in the air; Liberty can fly for 310 miles from a full tank. The cockpit can only take two people including the pilot, but a family model could be the next technology challenge. The Dutch company wants Liberty to promote a new idea of “freedom of mobility” thanks to what it has coined “Fly Driving”.
But flying a car will require some prior expertise. In the UK, the EU and the US, pilots will be expected to pass a private pilot’s
In the UK, the EU and the US, pilots will be expected to pass a private pilot’s licence so they can be safe both on the road and in the air.
The prices are almost same as high end luxury sports car.