Dutch firm PAL-V is set to build the world’s first road-legal flying car. The company has announced that its Liberty flying car can now be legally used on roads in Europe. Pal-V has confirmed that the flying car will soon become a reality.
The Liberty has obtained permission to be driven on the streets with an official number plate. It won the official approval after strict driving tests that were conducted from February this year. It was tested for speed, braking, emissions, noise pollution and several other aspects.
“We have been cooperating with the authorities for many years to reach this milestone. It was very challenging to make a design that complies with both air and road regulations,” said Mike Stekelenburg, CTO, Pal-V.
The expected pre-tax price of the flying car is $3,99,000, or around Rs 2.52 crore.
The prototype of the flying car was displayed by Pal-V a few years ago in 2012. Since 2015 it had been going through aviation certification with European Aviation Safety Agency. The certification is expected by 2022 only. The car will be available for customers only after that. The approval will be available only after completing the final 150 hours of flight testing.
Powered by twin-engines, the Liberty has an egg-shaped cabin. It has a top speed of Rs 160 kmph on road and takes only 9 seconds to reach 100 km from standstill. In flight mode, the Liberty can achieve a maximum speed of 180 kmph and can be in the air for a distance of up to 500 km in a single charge.
Hans Joore, Pal-V test driver, likens the 660 kg Liberty's on-road performance to a sports car.
The company claims that the bookings for the flying car is growing rapidly. However, 80 per cent of future Liberty owners do not have a flying licence. Recognising this, Pal-V has started an academy to train its customers. It has also reached an agreement with the Gujarat government for the flying car's manufacturing. It will start making the components of the flying car from next year. The flying car will take off from Gujarat for several European countries.