The Upcoming Future Technology, the flying car is here. It is called the PAL-V Liberty, and it is set to make its debut at next month’s Geneva Motor Show.
The world’s first ever flying car was just debuted in Switzerland at an international motor show by Dutch firm PAL-V. It does not need the retro charm of Doc Brown’s flying DeLorean, or the spooky sleekness of the cop cruisers in Blade Runner. Instead, it looks more like a helicopter squatting on a tricycle—a real attention grabber on the 405. Still, points for technological achievement.
This flying PAL-V’s car has a top speed of 100 mph on the road and 112 mph in the sky. It can cruise up to 11,000 feet from the earth’s surface—high enough to be of concern to commercial air traffic—and has an estimated range of 350 miles. But don’t imagine any dramatic James Bond-like changes from earth to air: You have to manually adjust the vehicle to make the transition, kind of like an old school car’s convertible roof, which PAL-V says takes less than 10 minutes.
A few years ago we first saw this PAL-V flying car, but the people at, um, PAL-V have been plugging away to make the possibility of flying away from traffic a reality. The Liberty is apparently the answer to all our congestion problems.
Place simply; it’s a car and gyro-plane capable to morph from ‘car’ to ‘plane’ in around 5-10 minutes. To do so, the rotor mast erects automatically, but then you’ve got to roll up your sleeves, tug out the tail section, unfold two rotor blades and take out the prop.
It can be take wing in Europe with a Spare time Pilot Licence or a Private Pilot Licence, while a plain old driving licence is all you need to take the PAL-V out on the roads. Powered by dual Rotax engines, the 99bhp road engine is capable of propelling the three-wheeled car to a sub nine-second 0-62mph sprint and top speed of 100mph, while fuel budget is a apply for 31mpg with a range of 817 miles. When airborne, the Liberty can climb to a maximum altitude of 3,500m via a 197bhp flying engine good enough for airspeed of 112mph and range of 310 miles.
On the street, the two-seater car slants into corners like a motorcycle, the aggression of your steering input determining the angle of lean. It looks fun. And then when you get to your airfield, or quiet stretch of the M1, outcome the propellers and the rotor and you’re up, up and away.
We’re said the Permission requires 90-200×200 metres of clear take-off space. So you won’t be able to do it mid M4 traffic jam. But once airborne, PAL-V says “manoeuvring and swiftly getting around obstacles like a hummingbird will make you smile”. Hmm. If you have the dexterity and confidence in the air like us, it will make you uncomfortable.
Only 90 Pal-V Liberty’s will be produced, each for £425,000 with deliveries expected next year. As soon as those orders have been pleased, a Liberty Sport model will be introduced for around £254,000 before taxes.
So, hands up – who’d like to have a go? And do we really need flying cars in the world? Let us know below.