PAL-V, a Dutch manufacturer, has launched the world's first commercial flying car - the PAL-V Liberty. The company is currently accepting pre-bookings for the vehicle, while deliveries are expected to commence from the end of 2018.
The PAL-V liberty is a three-wheeled vehicle which has rotors on the roof and the tail. These rotors can be folded while driving the vehicle on regular roads, and can then be expanded to their normal position when the user wants to take off. The company claims that the conversion from drive to fly mode requires around 5-10 minutes.
The PAL-V Liberty is equipped with two engines: one for driving and the other for flying. Rotor above the roof uses wind power to generate lift, while the rear-mounted rotors are powered by an independent engine to generate the required thrust.
The PAL-V liberty weighs 664 kg when empty and has a maximum take-off weight (MTOW) of 910 kg. In its drive mode, the Liberty develops 99 BHP of power and has a company-claimed top speed of 160 km/h. PAL-V further claims that the vehicle can accelerate from 0-100 km/h in less than 9 seconds, while its fuel economy is 13.16 km/l. In the flying mode, the PAL-V liberty has a power output of 198 BHP, a claimed top speed of 180 km/h and a maximum operating altitude of 3,500 metres.
All this is on the paper for now. It will be interesting to see whether the company is able to fulfil these claims and start deliveries of the production model in the claimed timeframe. Currently, 90 Pioneer edition models of the PAL-V Liberty will be on sale for $599,000 which is equivalent to around Rs. 4.02 crore. After the Pioneer edition models have been sold out, PAL-V will start selling the Liberty Sports models which are priced at $399,000 which is equivalent to Rs. 2.67 crore (all prices excluding taxes). Interested customers can pre-book the vehicle on the company's official website.