You Can Order a $400, zero Flying Car Right Now – News – Car and Driver, Car and Driver Blog
You Can Order a $400,000 Flying Car Right Now
The flying car is here! Woo! Dutch company PAL-V is on track to begin delivery of its Liberty flying car late next year, with the business officially opening up its order books to customers interested in possessing the almost half-million-dollar vehicle.
Tooled with a pair of engines—one each for ground and air travel—the two-seat Liberty is claimed to weigh a mere one thousand four hundred thirteen pounds. We assume this figure marks the Liberty’s dry weight, as the vehicle’s 26.4-gallon fuel tank is good for about one hundred sixty pounds of weight in gasoline alone. While PAL-V is keeping its lips sealed when it comes to the Liberty’s powertrain specifics, here’s what we do know: Both engines are supplied by the Austrian aircraft-engine manufacturer Rotax, and when left to its own devices on tarmac, the Liberty is said to produce one hundred horsepower, achieve fuel economy of thirty one mpg, and accelerate to sixty two mph in less than nine seconds on its way to a 100-mph top speed.
PAL-V claims that the switch to flying mode takes inbetween five and ten minutes, with the company noting that most of the conversion process is done via the vehicle’s Semi-Automatic Conversion System, leaving the driver/pilot the task of by hand unfolding the Liberty’s rotor blade, propeller, and tail. Injecting flying mode converts the Liberty from a 13.1-foot-long and Five.4-foot-tall car into a 20.1-foot-long and Ten.5-foot-tall flying machine. In the sky, the Liberty’s secondary engine makes two hundred horsepower and can speed the craft through the air at speeds as high as one hundred twelve mph while reaching a maximum operating altitude of 11,480 feet. Those seeking efficiency, tho’, will want to cruise at a more economical flying speed of eighty seven mph, which gives the gyrocopter a maximum range of three hundred ten miles. Add a passenger in the Liberty’s 2nd seat, tho’, and that range drops to two hundred forty eight miles.
Of course, the PAL-V can’t be flown by just anyone. The company notes that the Liberty’s operator must have both a driver’s and pilot’s license to use the vehicle in its two forms. Likewise, a 10-to-15-minute pre-flight inspection is required before coming in any airspace. Since this is the 21st century, PAL-V has developed an app that permits Liberty owners to calculate the time they’re saving overall by flying as opposed to driving, letting customers know that the time spent during the pre-flight inspection indeed is worth it. The app also lets the operator know how many stops are needed to fly to a given destination, among other features.
Albeit the PAL-V Liberty starts at $399,000 for the Sport model, interested customers can choose to drop an extra $200,000 on one of the company’s 90-unit run of Pioneer Edition models. While both the Sport and Pioneer Edition include a course to familiarize the Liberty’s fresh possessor with the vehicle’s unique nature, as well as introductory training, only the Pioneer Edition comes standard with items such as dual controls, an electronic flight-instrument system, power heating, and carbon-fiber detailing. For what it’s worth, PAL-V notes that each of those features can be added to the Sport as well.
Those interested in purchasing a Liberty will need to write a nonrefundable deposit check for $25,000 for the Pioneer Edition or $Ten,000 for the Sport. Alternatively, consumers can drop $2500 ($2000 of which is refundable) to lock in a spot on the Liberty’s waiting list. While we’re as captivated by the idea of a series-production flying car as the next person, we’d personally take our hundreds of thousands of dollars and invest it in something that’s liquid today.