World's first flying car, PAL-V Liberty, ready to hit roads
The world's first commercial flying car is all set to hit the roads. PAL-V, the Dutch company involved in the making of the first flying car, has announced that its Liberty vehicle has been approved for road usage in Europe. The development has paved the way for a future not too far-fetched where spotting flying cars could just be ordinary.
PAL-V's Liberty clears European road admission tests
PAL-V's Liberty, a compact two-person aircraft that can travel on public roads, recently cleared stringent European road admission tests. It is now allowed to hit the streets with an official license plate. As the world's first flying car, the Liberty starts with an entry-level price tag of $399,000, which is close to Rs. 3 crore in the Indian currency.
Production in India likely to begin next year
Notably, PAL-V has also signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Gujarat to establish a plant in India. Production in India is likely to commence in 2021. Reportedly, production models from Gujarat will be exported to several European countries.
'Needed to ensure design complies with air and road regulations'
PAL-V Chief Technology Officer (CTO) Mike Stekelenburg said in a statement, "The trick in successfully making a flying car is to ensure that the design complies with both air and road regulations." Stekelenburg added, "We have been cooperating with the road authorities for many years to reach this milestone... It was very challenging to make a 'folded aircraft' pass all road admission tests."
Liberty can fly at speeds reaching 180 kmph
Powered by dual engines, the Liberty can reach a maximum speed of 160 kmph in drive mode, with the ability to accelerate from 0-100 kmph in under nine seconds. It has a range of 1,315 kilometers, according to the website. In flight mode, the Liberty can reach a maximum speech of 180 kmph and has a range of 500 kilometers.
Got goosebumps when I fired it up: Test driver
PAL-V test driver, Hans Joore, said, "When I fired-up the PAL-V for the first time, I got goosebumps!" Joore added, "Hearing the vehicle come to life was just magnificent, and driving it was great. It's very smooth and responsive to the steering, and with a weight of just 660 kg, it accelerates really well. The overall experience is like a sportscar. It feels sensational."
Liberty benefited from certification experience from PAL-V One
PAL-V said Liberty benefits from the certification experience accumulated in the earlier flight test program with PAL-V One. Before the final 150 hours of flight testing can begin, over 1,200 test reports need to be completed. Afterwards, deliveries to customers can start. The Liberty has been going through aviation certification with EASA (European Aviation Safety Agency) since 2015. The finalization is expected in 2022.