Dutch company PAL-V is selling its three-wheeled Liberty flying car now; it's equipped with a 99bhp driving engine and a 197bhp flying engine

The PAL-V Liberty, the world’s first production flying car, can now be ordered, having made its public debut at the Geneva motor show around a year before the first examples arrive on roads (and in skies).

Dutch manufacturer PAL-V claims the Liberty is fully compliant with existing regulations and says it represents a “pivotal time in aviation and mobility history”.

The flying car has launched with the Liberty Pioneer Edition, which is priced from €499,000 (around £445,500) before taxes. This price includes power heating, personalisation options and some flight instruction sessions.

Only 90 examples will be sold, with around half of them headed to Europe. After their delivery, PAL-V will start delivery of the Sport model, which is priced from €299,000 (around £254,000) before taxes. 

The Sport doesn’t have the same level of personalisation available as the Pioneer Edition but still comes with flying lessons, while options include power heating and carbonfibre detailing.

This isn't the first flying car attempt in recent years...

The Liberty has a three-wheel layout and fold-away rotor blades on the roof. It's effectively a gyrocopter aircraft with two engines. Its Rotax engine-based dual propulsion drivetrain includes one engine for driving and one for flying. An unpowered large rotor on top creates lift, while an engine-powered blade at the rear provides thrust.

The PAL-V has low suspension and a tilting two-person cockpit.

To convert the car from driving mode to flying mode or vice versa takes around 5-10 minutes, according to PAL-V. The rotor mast unfolds automatically, but the driver must pull out the tail section, unfold the two rotor blades and take out the propeller to ready it to fly.

You also need a flying license, of course, and you can’t just take off and land anywhere; PAL-V says the Liberty requires take-off space of around 90-200x200 metres without obstacles. It says that small airstrips, aerodomes, glider sites and ultralight airfields will be most appropriate.

PAL-V says the noise that the Liberty generates in flight will be comparable to a small fixed wing aeroplane – “much less” than a helicopter.

The Liberty's drive mode engine has 99bhp and a top speed of 100mph, with 0-62mph sprint taking 9.0sec. Fuel economy is a claimed 31mpg with a range of 817 miles.

In the air, the flying car can climb to a maximum altitude of 3500m, and its 197bhp flying engine can propel it up to a top speed of 112mph. Its range is a claimed 310 miles.

The Liberty will be assembled in the Netherlands, with specific parts and systems manufactured by other companies in different countries.

PAL-V collaborated with Italian design agencies for the car and conducted test programmes with concepts in 2009 and 2012.

Robert Dingemanse, the company's CEO, said: "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."

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Comments
26

13 February 2017
Well cheaper than the most expensive G wagon and that can't fly!

typos1 - Just can’t respect opinion

13 February 2017
'Unpowered' top rotor??? do you need to pedal to keep it turning then?

13 February 2017

Hi Stumpys,

The movement of air powers the rotor alone for lift, while a rear propeller provides thrust. This Wikipedia article explains it far better than I can!

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Autorotation

Thanks,
Kris

13 February 2017
stumpys182 wrote:

'Unpowered' top rotor?

Gyrocopter rotors aren't powered, they are typically started using a clutch and after that kept spinning by the airflow.

1 February 2018
k12479 wrote:
stumpys182 wrote:

'Unpowered' top rotor?

Gyrocopter rotors aren't powered, they are typically started using a clutch and after that kept spinning by the airflow.

Gyrocopter rotors are not started using a clutch. They rotate by the air flow only, therefore they cannot take off vertically but have to run on the track until reaching a certain speed. 

1 February 2018
sabre wrote:

Gyrocopter rotors are not started using a clutch... 

"When the pre-rotator is engaged and drives the rotor, the gyrocopter starts spinning before it takes off..", "The engine is connected to the rotor through a clutch for imparting an initial rotation before the machine takes off but the clutch is disengaged entirely during flight...", "...unlocks the rotor and engages the pre-rotate clutch. The rotor hesitates then slowly begins to turn...", etc.

13 February 2017
Ever heard of the Aerocar? Typical ignorance of history, or buying into hype without applying a critical eye.

14 February 2017
[quote=k12479]Ever heard of the Aerocar? Typical ignorance of history, or buying into hype without applying a critical eye.[/quote] I don't think the Aerocar ever entered series production. Just a handful were built.


1 February 2018

seeing as only 6 were made... stop picking holes for the sake of it.

1 February 2018
JimmyMac wrote:

seeing as only 6 were made... stop picking holes for the sake of it.

How many Libertys or Terrafugias delivered?

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