The World's First Commercial Flying Car Ready for Order
【Summary】PAL-V, the Dutch company who aims to develop a roadable aircraft, has now announced its commercial flying vehicle is ready for order, and claims it to be “the first certified commercial flying car ever.”
PAL-V, the Dutch company who aims to develop a roadable aircraft, has now announced its commercial flying vehicle is ready for order, and claims it to be "the first certified commercial flying car ever."
The car-aircraft combination, called Liberty, is a three-wheeler that has a giant propeller and two tail blades. The aircraft features are retractable. When acting as a vehicle, the propeller and blades will fold into the roof and back of the car; as soon as it transforms to a flying machine, the aircraft functions will expand and turn the vehicle into a gyrocopter.
The whole transformation process takes about 10 minutes, and can speed up to 100 mph on roads and 112 mph in the air. What's more, Liberty has a whooping range of 817 miles when driving on the ground; when flying in the sky, the range dwindles to 310 miles—still impressive compared with China's drone Taxi Ehang that will debut in Dubai this summer. The latter could only travel for 25 to 30 miles in the air at a time. For the noise the flying car makes, PAL-V said it's much less than a helicopter.
"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 in a press statement.
Guess how much the flying car will be? Not surprisingly, a Liberty "Sports" model costs 400,000 dollars while a higher-end "Pioneer" model is marked as $600,000. The latter includes some important features such as at-home training, power heating and some personalized options. And to reserve the car, customers need to pay a $10,000 or $25,000 nonrefundable deposit for the two models respectively. PAL-V will also accept a $2,500 deposit to get you in a waiting list. As for the Pioneer, only 90 cars will be sold, with half of them headed straight to Europe. And after delivering Pioneer, the company will start sending Sports model to customers.
Just like driving on the road, flying in the air needs a license as well. One needs to own a driver's license and a pilot's certificate to operate the flying machine. As noted by PAL-V, Liberty when taking off needs a space of at least 90-200x200 meters without any obstacles in sight. So you just couldn't make your Liberty take off while you are stuck in a traffic jam in rush hour, but for locations such as airstrips, aerodomes, glider sites and ultralight airfields, there's no problem. And altitude-wise, Liberty is comparable with small and general aviation planes, achieving a maximum of 11,480 feet.
The aerial automobile will be assembled in Netherlands and delivered in 2018. Are you ready for the futuristic machine?
Claire Peng has over 6 years of professional experience in the media industry, covering TV, newspaper and online media. She was once a reporter and producer for Fairchild Television based in Toronto Canada, and worked as an English news reporter for the Global Times in Beijing. She writes mainly about self-driving, companies investment, and the enterprise lab.
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