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World’s first road and air-legal flying car on sale - prices, specs, pictures

Autocar logo Autocar 13/02/2017 doug

World’s first road and air-legal flying car on sale - prices, specs, pictures

World’s first road and air-legal flying car on sale - prices, specs, pictures
© Haymarket

The world’s first commercial flying car is now on sale priced from around £425,000, with first customer deliveries slated for the end of 2018.

Dutch manufacturer PAL-V claims the PAL-V Liberty flying car is fully compliant with existing regulations and says it represents a “pivotal time in aviation and mobility history”.

The flying car has launched with the PAL-V Liberty Pioneer Edition which is priced from €499,000/$599,000 on the PAL-V website, excluding taxes. This price includes some flight instruction sessions, power heating and personalisation options.

Only 90 will be sold, with around half of them headed to Europe, and after their delivery the manufacturer will start delivery of the PAL-V Liberty Sport model.

That model is priced from €299,000/$399,000 excluding taxes on the manufacturer’s website (around £254,000). 

It doesn’t have the same level of personalisation available as the Pioneer Edition but still comes with flying lessons, while options include power heating and carbon detailing.

The car has a three-wheel layout and rotor blades which fold away on top. It takes the form of a Gyrocopter aircraft with two engines. The Rotax engine-based dual propulsion drivetrain includes one engine for driving and one for flying, with an unpowered large rotor on top that provides lift, while an engine-powered blade on the rear of the vehicle gives thrust.

It has lowered suspension and a tilting two person cockpit.

World’s first road and air-legal flying car on sale - prices, specs, pictures © Haymarket World’s first road and air-legal flying car on sale - prices, specs, pictures To convert the car from drive to fly mode or vice versa takes around 5-10 minutes, according to the manufacturer. The rotor mast unfolds automatically, but the driver must pull out the tail section, unfold two rotor blades and take out the prop to ready it to fly.

You also need a license to fly and you can’t just take off and land everywhere.

PAL-V says it requires take-off space of around 90-200 by 200 metres without obstacles. It says that small airstrips, aerodomes, glider sites and ultralight airfields will be most appropriate.

The manufacturer says the noise it generates in flight will be comparable to a small fixed wing plane, saying it will be “much less” than a helicopter.

The drive mode engine has 99bhp and a top speed of 100mph, with a 0-62mph sprint taking nine seconds. Fuel economy is a claimed 31mpg with a range of 817 miles.

In the air it can climb to a maximum altitude of 3500m, and the Liberty’s 197bhp flying mode engine can reach 112mph. Its range is a claimed 310 miles.

It will be assembled in the Netherlands, with specific parts and systems manufactured by other companies in different countries.

PAL-V collaborated with Italian design agencies for the car and conducted test programmes with concepts in 2009 and 2012.

"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," Robert Dingemanse, CEO of PAL-V, said.

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