By on February 16, 2017

PAL-V Liberty,

The world’s first commercial flying car is, tentatively, here.

Dutch company PAL-V is now taking pre-orders for its new airworthy car, the Liberty. It will be offered in two trim levels: the base Liberty Sport, and the Liberty Pioneer. Either will be enough for your dangerously sexy lifestyle.

Buyers of the 90 Liberty Pioneers will hand over a modest $600,000 before taxes or fees. But, with exclusive colors and a framed, gold-plated copy of your serial number tag, who can blame you?

For those of you who think the Pioneer is way too expensive, fear not. The Liberty Sport will be a bargain at only $400,000! You can also opt to pay a non-refundable deposit to reserve one – $10,000 for the Sport, $25,000 for the Pioneer – if you don’t want to pay the full price just yet.

The three-wheeled Liberty actually claims some decent numbers when in drive mode, however. According to PAL-V, its unspecified road engine produces 100 horsepower, averages 31 miles per gallon, and has a range of 817 miles. It will have a top speed of 100 miles per hour, and be able to reach 62 mph in less than nine seconds.

On days when you feel like James Bond, the vehicle’s flight mode will utilize a 200 horsepower engine to achieve speeds of up to 112 mph, propelled by a pusher prop in the rear of the vehicle. Maximum range, when flying at the suggested economical speed of 87 mph, is 310 miles. A takeoff roll of 590 feet means this gyrocopter — not helicopter — won’t take off from your property unless your backyard is both sprawling and manicured.

Both the Pioneer and Sport will come with a familiarization course and introductory lessons.

PAL-V Liberty, Image: [PAL-V]

Even though the claim that the Liberty “blends perfectly into everyday road traffic” isn’t quite true, the two-seater will have a small profile. In drive mode, it should be able to fit into a regular sized parking spot with ease.

Changing between drive and flight mode will take three to five minutes, though a mandatory flight check before takeoff will add another 10-15 minutes to your adventure.

You will have to wait a while for your flying car, though. According to The Independent, deliveries won’t start until the end of 2018. PAL-V will start shipping the Sport models after all 90 Pioneers have been delivered.

[Images: PAL-V]

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31 Comments on “PAL-V Is Now Selling the Flying Car of Your Dreams...”


  • avatar
    Corey Lewis

    Man Slams into McDonald’s Doing 67MPH, Attempting To PAL Around.

    Film at 11.

  • avatar
    Corey Lewis

    This is a great idea, pal. And I feel like “dangerously sexy lifestyle” belongs in someone’s online dating profile, or something.

  • avatar
    Corollaman

    Life insurance policy optional.

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    Finally, a 3-wheeler I can applaud.

    If my math is right, it gets 11.8 mpg while flying – not bad, really.

  • avatar
    Lou_BC

    “I’m sorry, Dave. I’m afraid I can’t do that.”

  • avatar
    indi500fan

    They should partner with Elio for US production.
    Looks like it would run down the assy line quite nicely.

    • 0 avatar
      JMII

      That is what immediately popped into my mind seeing this picture: the new Elio-plane has arrived!

    • 0 avatar

      Elio is nearly dead… and it has the two wheels in front instead of aft. https://cleantechnica.com/2017/01/27/elio-motors-pushes-launch-back-2018-owing-financial-problems-reportedly/

      • 0 avatar

        There’s a cottage industry of folks in the media predicting Elio’s demise. The company is undoubtedly facing financial challenges but most of the recent bad PR about their finances has to do with folks amplifying what is really boilerplate text in their SEC filings. A big fuss was made about a statement in a Sept. 2016 SEC filing that said that Elio only had enough money to last until the end of the year so people said that they would be out of business by January. It’s the middle of February and they’re still around.

        The bad press has had an effect on their stock price, which has gotten hammered. It was pretty much steady at $20/share but it plunged below the IPO price of $14 just after all that bad news broke around the beginning of the year, but it’s stabilized around $7.75.

  • avatar
    Ermel

    Douglas Adams’ “Someone Else’s Problem”, or SEP, field is translated into German as the PAL: Problem anderer Leute. I find this strangely fitting.

  • avatar
    jhefner

    “The world’s first commercial flying car is, tentatively, here.”

    I was going to ask about the Terrafugia Transition; but apparently it too has not yet reached the production stage yet.

    http://www.terrafugia.com/the-transition/

    The Transition sure has had a long gestational period; I guess the PAL-V’s more simple gyro-copter design made it possible for them to beat Terrafugia to market.

  • avatar
    fishiftstick

    Because they don’t have cars at airports.

    • 0 avatar
      jhefner

      Actually, at the airports where these will be landing, they won’t. You are not going to fly general aviation planes into most major airports like say DFW; they cause too much of an interruption to commercial aviation traffic with their slow speeds; and most large airports do not have a general aviation section (Love Field in Dallas is an exception.)

      Most smaller airports do not have a rental car agency; so these can allow you to drive the last few miles to your destination. But these are roadable planes rather than flying cars; that means you have to have a pilot’s license to fly them; and they need need to be maintained like airplanes instead of going 50,000 miles between oil changes and getting it changed at the Wal-Mart lube center. The target audiance for these will be very small.

      • 0 avatar
        mcs

        Jhefner: You are not going to fly general aviation planes into most major airports like say DFW.

        Huh??? DFWs general aviation terminal is at the northern end of the airport and has car rentals. Boston’s Logan Airport has general aviation.

        Smaller airports I’ve flown into have car rentals. Laconia NH, Sanford ME, Norwood MA, Hanscom in Bedford MA, Beverly MA, Burnett Municipal in Burnett TX, Wiley Post in Ok. City, Lea County Regional in New Mexico, and Marin County in CA. Even if rentals aren’t on the airport premises, they’ll usually come and get you and bring you to the rental office.

        • 0 avatar
          Drew8MR

          It is an odd take, I learned to fly out of Oakland and spent many an hour puttering along in a 152 between airliners in the pattern. Pretty easy to slot light aircraft in on the crosswind pretty much anywhere, they give heavies alot of separation.

          • 0 avatar
            Flipper35

            I learned in the mid-west and there is nothing like ATC telling you to make a short final behind the 737 to slot in ahead of the DC-10.

        • 0 avatar
          jhefner

          I have worked to the south of DFW airport in Grand Prairie, and never saw general aviation planes slotted in with the heavies. Yes, there is a third runway, but even then, in driving in the area, I have never seen any general aviation planes coming in. I am not a licensed pilot, but I understand that they have to maintain separation behind and below the heavies so you don’t get caught in their wingtip vorticies, and you have to land at close to cruising speed to keep from holding up the heavies behind you, so most pilots don’t like landing at large airports, and most ATC centers don’t like to have to slot them in between the heavies.

          I also worked for seven years as a contractor at Southwest Airlines headquarters at Love Field; and got to watch planes from the cafeteria, the patio, and the parking lot. Yes, there was a general aviation area, and a little bit of light aircraft traffic; but the majority was heavies, with an occasional P-3 Orion and on rare occasion Air Force One.

          My local airport in Cleburne does not have a rental car stand. Yes, there is one about a couple of miles down the street, but I cannot imagine they have enough people there to come pick you up at the airport if you call. But I may be wrong about that.

          The middle sized airport I grew up with in Lafayette, LA did have regular flights, a large general aviation area, and a rental car stand. I suppose that is more the average around the country.

          Still, as others have stated, by the time you get on the ground, tie down your plane, catch a ride to the rental car stand, rent your car and leave the airport, you have lost what little time you saved flying. Now that you have to show up at the airport 1-2 hours before departure to have time to go through security, then pick up your baggage and rent a car at the other end, it is almost as fast to drive on all but the longer flights.

  • avatar
    7402

    The Moulton Taylor Aerocar aerobile may not have been as elegant, but it is much more likely to have been the first.

    Courtesy of the Smithsonian: http://www.smithsonianmag.com/videos/category/innovation/the-incredible-flying-car-of-the-1950s/

    • 0 avatar
      eManual

      My Avatar shows the Aerocar III. As a private pilot and engineer, I’ve dabbled with various aerocar ideas through the years. Most are impractical, and this is one of the worst, especially at $600K+.

      First, define your mission. Given 70 mph+ on the Interstate, your airplane needs 140 mph+ for any significant gains. My present airplane does about 95 mph (faster than what’s being proposed here!) and block to block times on a cross country is about the same driving or flying.

      You can beat cars whenever other factors apply, such as a ferry across water, or when the roads are twisty and slow, like in the mountains. You might need to land outside the built up metro area and drive the same stop and go traffic to your destination, so no time savings there.

      For small airplanes, we have the an old saw “time to spare, go by air.” That’s needed for bad weather delays, pre-flighting the aircraft, and fuel stops that can take a significant % of block to block time.

  • avatar
    OldManPants

    Wow… is it 1960 already?

  • avatar

    This strikes me as safer than the drone taxis they are proposing for Dubai.

    • 0 avatar

      Far safer! Since this is an autogyro. Lose power, and the rotor will spin you to safety in your descend to earth. If the Dubai contraption fails, you will drop to earth like a stone. I can imagine that all sorts of surveillance services would like to make use of the PAL-V. And there must be thousands of rich people out there who happen to have a pilot license and their own stretch of land for takeoff and landing.

      • 0 avatar
        stuki

        I keep hearing this all the time. In the real world, how many accidents would realistically be cause by losing power at a decent altitude? Versus all the other manners in which trying to pretend ones car is a safe flying machine, could cause trouble?

        Back in the Solotrek days, guys actually serious about hovering around in built up areas in personal sized transporters, concluded fitting the props with shrouds of sufficient resilience and clearances to withstand the occasional bump, were much more realistically important than any possible autogyroing, to real world safety.

  • avatar
    Lorenzo

    You’re going to need two licenses, one to drive and one to fly. You’re also going to need all kinds of extra aviation equipment in the cockpit, and gyro- or heli- the rotor blades are fairly delicate and will require extra inspections – and replacement is gonna cost way more than wiper blades! Run through all of the extra requirements and costs, and you’ll understand why we never got flying cars – and won’t get this one either.

    • 0 avatar
      eManual

      For small aircraft, there are two things that are useful in a good “roadable” aircraft:

      1. Reducing the cost of hangers. Most hangers start at $100/month and can be over $500/month, so storage at home or other facilities could be be a significant savings.
      2. When landing at a small airport with no rental cars (and many do not have aviation fuel or the pumps are locked), you can drive into town to fuel up and do your business there.

      To see many of the roadable aircraft developed before 2010, check out:
      http://www.roadabletimes.com/


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