Flying cars are no longer an object of fiction, as PAL-V, a Dutch aircraft engineering company, has launched the Liberty, the world’s first ever commercial flying car. The model costs £4,25,000 (about Rs 4.18 crore), and the first of these are likely to hit the market by the end of 2018.
This first model, badged the Liberty Pioneer Edition, is priced from around $5,99,000 (Rs 3.78 crore) before taxes. The price includes the cost of the flying car along with flight instruction sessions and personalisation options. Only 90 of these will be made, of which, nearly half have found buyers in Europe alone.
The Liberty Pioneer Edition will be followed by a more affordable Liberty Sport model that’s priced from $3,99,000 (around Rs 2.52 crore) before taxes.
While the Sport doesn’t get the customisation options like the Liberty Pioneer, it does come with flight instruction sessions.
The three-wheeled, two-seater features fold-away rotor blades on the roof, and has two engines – one engine for driving and one for flying. The rotor on top provides lift, while the powered blade at the rear of the car provides thrust.
The drive-mode engine is a 100.3hp unit which can propel the car from 0-100kph in a claimed 9sec flat, and onwards to a top speed of 160kph. It will even deliver around 11kpl and can travel up to 1,314km on a single tank of petrol. In flight-mode, the craft can climb to a maximum altitude of 3,500m, and its 200hp motor allows it to hit a top-speed of 179kph. In this mode, you can travel a maximum of 498km.
The car can switch between road-going and flying modes in around 5-10 minutes, and requires a license to fly. Plus, it needs a take-off space of around 90-200x200 metres (like a small air-strip, aerodrome, or a small glider strip) without obstacles for safe take-offs and landings.