The world’s first commercial flying car has gone on sale, meaning that your dreams of owning a flying car can now become a reality.
Dutch company PAL-V International announced sales of its new vehicle – named the PAL-V Liberty, on its website.
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It’s a twin-engine craft, around the size of a Volkswagen Golf, that can switch from driving mode to flying mode in around five minutes.
That morning commute just got a lot easier.
The company has been working on its flying car concept since 2011. The finished product is a three-wheeled vehicle, with a similar handling system to motorbikes that rely on drivers tilting the vehicle with a control stick.
It can be driven on normal roads or be taken skyward once it is in flight mode, where it can hit flying speeds of up to 112mph and reach heights of around 4,000ft.
It’s not quite as straight-forward as it sounds. The PAL-V uses existing aviation technology meaning it is already cleared for flight, which is great. However, you can only legally fly it if you have a pilot’s license.
If you don’t already have one of these, PAL-V says to contact the company which will help its customers find the best training options. Its website says: “We have special cooperation with schools in scenic landscapes so that you can perform part of your training in attractive locations.”
The Pilot Centre, based near Uxbridge, charges £7,425 for lessons for a private pilot’s license (PPL).
As well as this, owners of the Pal-V Liberty will need access to an airstrip or other suitable open space for landing and taking off, measuring approximately 100-650ft x 60ft.
Unfortunately, you won’t be able to launch the gyroplane from just the road.
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Cost wise, the basic Liberty version costs £225,000 without tax, whilst the Pioneer Edition — which includes a unique interior and paint job — will be around £425,000.
Only 90 versions of the Pioneer Edition are set to be made, so if you really want one, you will have to move fast to reserve one on the company’s website.
Many will find it hard to believe that a company has really made flying cars a reality.
Earlier this month, it was announced that Uber had hired a Nasa engineer to develop flying cars for the startup. At the World Government Summit in Dubai this week, the country’s Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) announced that there will be autonomous aerial vehicles (AAV) taking to the skies in Dubai this summer.
Talking about the launch of PAL-V’s vehicles to IB Times, the company’s chief executive, Robert Dingemanse, said it was “a pivotal time in aviation and mobility history.”
“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.”
Production is expected to start this summer, with the first deliveries in Europe set to take place by the end of 2018.