Many companies have approached the concept of flying cars as a way to combat traffic congestion and put themselves at the forefront of transportation technology. Some corporations like Uber have been working on automated flying taxi services to quickly bring customers where they need to go without the need to actually control the vehicle itself. PAL-V is eager to put that control into the hands of consumers and they’re selling the first of their cars now.
PAL-V is a Dutch company focused on combining road and air travel as seamlessly as possible. They’re also reportedly the first flying car to receive legal authorisation for both road and air travel in Europe and the United States. The car’s frame is narrow, for aerodynamic purposes and uses three wheels. On the ground, it looks reminiscent of Batman’s motorbike in The Dark Knight crossed with a sports car. When it’s time to fly, it extends a vertical propeller, making it look like a small but sleek helicopter. The PAL-V Liberty can reportedly cover over 800 miles on a full tank while driving and over 300 miles when it takes to the air, an understandable difference given the extra power required to take off and maintain height. The car uses two different engines for driving and flight and PAL-V insist that they have tested their vehicle rigorously for both ground and air travel in all manner of conditions.
Their first model, the PAL-V Liberty Pioneer Edition, is currently available to buy in highly limited numbers. It’s not cheap either. Coming it at an estimated five hundred thousand euros, this model comes with every optional feature included and offers high-end customisation for the interior and exterior. After the Pioneer series has sold out, consumers will still have to option of purchasing the PAL-V Liberty Sports Edition at an estimated starting price of about three hundred thousand euros. But just splashing out isn’t enough to get you in the air. Hopeful drivers/pilots will need both valid driver’s and pilot’s licenses before they can try out their new toy.
Purchases can be made at the moment, but PAL-V won’t be delivering the products to customers until some time next year. So, will 2019 finally be the year of the flying car? Only time will tell.