PAL-V is teasing its first production-ready flying car, the Liberty.
The first set of 90 flying cars built, called the PAL-V Liberty Limited Pioneer Edition (teased in photo below), will sell for $599,000 each and only 25 will be coming to North America. “We anticipate deliveries of a certified PAL-V in North America to happen in 2018,” said Mark Jennings-Bates, VP Sales in North America.
The full production PAL-V Liberty will be unveiled in early 2017.
A working prototype has already been built (seen above in gallery) and was successfully test flown for the first time in 2014. This first vehicle also proved that the PAL-V could comply with all existing air and land regulations in major markets, both in Europe and the U.S. Currently, the company says that is it “very advanced” in certifying the PAL-V in Europe, after which it will be certified in the U.S.
Maximum capacity in the PAL-V Liberty is two, with seats that are side-by-side. The engine used isn’t detailed, besides the company saying that it is a double redundant drive train that is based on a certified airplane engine from a “leading manufacturer.” The engine makes 200 horsepower and can drive the Liberty up to 106 mph on land and 97 knots (111 mph) in the air.
Minimum speed required for take off is 31 mph, while at least 540 feet of runway is required to take off, though just 100 feet is needed to land. While in the air, the PAL-V Liberty is said to have a range of about 220 to 250 miles. Although it looks like a small helicopter, the PAL-V is a gyroplane, which means the engine drives a propeller for thrust while the top rotor is driven by the air passing through it.
The company claims that this makes it easier to fly and safer too, as this type of plane cannot stall and is affected less by cross winds. In fact, the PAL-V is said to experience only 20 percent of the turbulence a comparable fixed wing plane would feel. A special license is required to fly the PAL-V which takes between 30 and 40 hours to complete.
Thanks to a tilting feature, the PAL-V appears to ride somewhat like a motorcycle on the road, though it’s no speed demon. The sprint from 0 to 60 mph will come in “under 10 seconds,” while the driving range is pegged at 750 miles.
Converting the PAL-V from flying more to driving mode will only take five to 10 minutes according to the company.