The world’s first flying car is ready for take-off but the price is sky high and you will need a pilot’s licence to hit the wide blue yonder.
The PAL-V Liberty is the first commercial flying car and is waiting on a runway near you with a price tag starting at £250,000.
The top of the range Liberty Pioneer will set a buyer back £510,000 and comes with flying lessons, power heating and upgrade trim and personalisation options.
The Liberty is a three-wheeler with foldaway rotor blades on the back and roof for lift and propulsion.
On the road, the car has a 99 bhp engine with a top speed of 100 mph on the ground. In the air, the power plant is a 197 bhp motor with a top speed of 112 mph and a range of 310 miles. The top altitude is 3,500 metres.
No room for the weekly shop
Noise in flight is claimed to be the same as a small fixed-wing plane.
The cockpit takes a pilot and passenger and there’s not much room for luggage, so don’t expect to cram the weekly shop on board.
Take-off and landing are still a problem. Unless you live on your own airfield, you will need unobstructed space of around 200 metres square to take to the skies or touch down.
To make the car road ready, the pilot must land and spend 10 minutes stowing the rotors. The tail sections and prop blades need manual folding away.
Robert Dingemanse, PAL-V’s CEO, said: “After years of hard work, beating the technical and qualification challenges, our team succeeded in creating an innovative flying car that complies with existing safety standards determined by regulatory bodies around the world.”
Plaything for the rich
But is the PAL-V really a flying car?
“It’s effectively a gyrocopter aircraft with two engines,” says Autocar magazine.
The price, need for driving and flying licences and take-off/landing restrictions limit the appeal and market.
The hybrid is more of a plaything for the rich – but they can afford a helicopter or light plane anyway.
The Netherlands based makers plan to sell 90 PAL-V – with half destined for Europe.