Can you imagine owning a car that not only allows you to drive to work but also offers the freedom to take to the skies if your route is a bit too busy? Well, after countless attempts from no end of different companies, it’s finally a possibility - you can now buy a flying car.
It’s called the ‘Pal-V Liberty’ and it made its debut earlier this month at the Geneva Motor Show. Whilst it may look slightly odd when compared to the cars that we know and love, the Pal-V Liberty is effectively a car (by definition) that can easily be transformed into a gyrocopter in just 5-10 minutes.
Whilst there have been countless attempts at creating a flying car (we reported on the previous front runners from AeroMobil and Terrafugia a couple of years ago) the Pal-V Liberty is being praised as the first commercial flying car, owing to the fact that it complies with all current air and road regulations and can be sold to the general public.
Unfortunately, the transformation from road travel to air travel isn’t entirely automatic and takes some manual labour (not ideal on the hard shoulder of the M1). After automatically erecting the rotor mast, the driver is required to pull out the tail, unfold the rotor blades and fold out the rear propeller.
Power comes from two dual rotax engines – one for driving and one for flying. The road engine offers 99bhp, a 0-62mph sprint of less than nine seconds and a top speed of 100mph. Offering the ability to accomplish 31mph, Pal-V say that Liberty is capable of a pretty phenomenal 817 mile range.
Once you hit the skies, a 197bhp flying engine then takes Pal-V Liberty up to an airspeed of 112mph, an altitude of 3,500m and offers a range of 310 miles.
Of course, in order to actually fly Pal-V Liberty, you’ll need a Recreational Pilot License or a Private Pilot Licence. You’ll also need a 90-200m by 20m open stretch of field as using the motorway as a runway isn’t within the laws of Britain’s roads; once you are in the air, however, Pal-V say that Liberty offers a nicer, more stable, flight than any comparative light aircraft or helicopter.