Interested in a flying car? It seems to be a possibility. Apparently, the Dutch manufacturer PAL-V can offer anyone who is interested in a flying vehicle a contraption of the sorts, as early as next year. The company is taking orders currently for it; if you don’t mind laying $400,000 down.
MSN reported that the car/flying machine has two engines, one for air and one for ground, and the Liberty, as it is named, is equipped with two seats weighing in at a little over 1,400 lbs … assuming that is the dry weight of it since the auto has a 26.4-gallon fuel tank. PAL-V isn’t saying much about the Liberty right now, but here are some figures that are known: Rotax, located in Austria, is supplying both engines; the flying car is said to have 100 horsepower (when on ground), has a 31-mpg fuel economy, can get to 62 miles per hour (mph) in under nine seconds, and has a top speed of 100 mph.
According to the Dutch company, the car takes about five to ten minutes to switch from ‘drive’ to ‘fly’, stating that a majority of the conversion process occurs via the car’s Semi-Automatic Conversion System. This leaves the driver (or pilot’s) job to unfold the Liberty’s propeller, tail, and motor blade, manually. And when you hit flying mode, the Liberty turns from a 13.1-foot (long) by 5.4-foot (tall) vehicle into a flying machine that is 20.1-foot (long) by 10.5-foot (tall). The secondary engine kicks in at 200 horsepower, with speeds reaching 112 mph at an 11,489-foot altitude. Still, for efficiency purposes, flyers may want to cruise at 87 mph, which will give the flying contraption a 310 miles’ max range. When you add a passenger along for the ride, the range decreases to 248 miles.
Important to note, not just anyone can drive and fly this thing. Those who purchase the machine should have both a pilot and driver’s license to use the auto. As well, ten to fifteen minutes should be allotted before use for a pre-flight inspection; something needed when stepping into any airspace. Interestingly enough, PAL-V also has an app for owners of the machine to calculate the time being saved by flying to where they are going, versus the good old fashioned way of just driving.
While the Liberty Sports Model is being released at $399,000, owners can throw in $200,000 more for a Pioneer Edition model. Both Liberty models come with a course to learn more about the car and training on the vehicle; but the PE comes with additional features, such as: an electronic flight-instrument system, dual controls, carbon-fiber detailing, and power heating.
Interestingly enough, while these come ‘standard’ on the PE, the above can be “added” to the Sports model as well.