Pal-V Liberty Flying Car to Debut at the Geneva Motor Show

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【Summary】The Pal-V Liberty isn’t your typical flying car. In fact, from a technical perspective, it may not even be a flying car at all.

Michael Cheng    Feb 19, 2018 8:15 AM PT
Pal-V Liberty Flying Car to Debut at the Geneva Motor Show

The upcoming 88th Geneva International Motor Show will showcase numerous concepts and prototypes, such as the 2019 Porsche 911 GT3 RS and the 2019 Jaguar I-Pace. In the flying car category, Pal-V is expected to reveal the ‘world's first production-ready' unit.

Called the Pal-V Liberty, the base model is priced at $399,000. The Pal-V Liberty Pioneer, which is the next tier up, will go for $599,000. The latter model features dual controls, power heating and additional perks for comfortable aerial maneuvers.  

Ready for Purchase

Currently, the Dutch company is completing the final stages of the certification process. This will show the unit is fully capable of adhering to regulations for flight and driving on public roads. One of the main advantages of the Pal-V Liberty is that it can be used for traveling on open roads, like traditional cars.

"All certifications required for commercialization will be granted on the basis of this production model," said Robert Dingemanse, CEO of the company. "Once full certification is granted in 2019, will hand over the keys of the Pal-V Liberty to our first customers."

The unit's astronomical price tag isn't the only challenge in owning the Pal-V Liberty. After purchasing the vehicle, owners must acquire the necessary piloting licenses for operation. In Europe, one must apply for a Recreational Pilot License or a Private Pilot License. Alternatively, it is possible to drive the aircraft on roads using a regular driver's license.  

From a performance perspective, the flying car doesn't disappoint. On the road, it can reach speeds up to 100 mph. In the air, the unit is capable of cruising at a maximum speed of 112 mph. To clarify, the Pal-V Liberty is powered by an internal combustion engine. Based on its 26-gallon tank capacity, individuals should be able to stay in the air for more than four hours per fill.

What Exactly is It?

The Pal-V Liberty isn't your typical flying car. In fact, from a technical perspective, it may not even be a flying car at all. According to CNET, the aircraft's configuration and components closely resemble an autogyro, which isn't considered cutting-edge tech since the units have been around for almost 100 years. It would also be wrong to classify the Pal-V Liberty as a helicopter.

Moreover, an autogyro is considerably easier to build, due to its simple parts, and scale. The lack of VTOL capabilities and seating capacities suggest the Pal-V Liberty is suitable for recreational applications.

"Our design philosophy of complying with existing road and air regulations save us many years in time to market. Instead of opting for a flying car concept on the basis of not-yet-existing or immature technologies, requiring new regulations, we deliberately chose to design, engineer and manufacture a flying car with proven technologies," explained Mike Stekelenburg, Chief Engineer at Pal-V.

On a positive note, owners of the unit only need 35 hours of flight training to acquire the necessary flying license. In a stowed configuration, the Pal-V Liberty can also fit in conventional parking spaces with ease. 

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