First flying car goes on sale

The world’s first commercial road and air legal flying car has gone on sale, but with a hefty price tag. Dutch manufacturer PAL-V has revealed details of the PAL-V Liberty, a concept that first debuted in 2012. It costs around £425,000, more expensive than 26 Ford Fiestas. The price of the flying car includes flight instruction sessions, power heating and other personalisation options.

The Dutch manufacturer first debuted the PAL-V Liberty back in 2012, where they aimed to prove that they could create a flying car that was both road and air legal.

A cheaper version of the flying car, the PAL-V Liberty Sport model, will cost buyers around £254,000. It doesn’t offer the same amount of personalisation as the Pioneer but still includes flying lessons. Both versions of the car have a three-wheel layout with a collapsible rotor blade system on top.

PAL-V takes the form of a gyrocopter utilising the power of two engines – the dual-propulsion powertrain uses one engine for driving and one for flying. The driving mode engine has 99bhp, top speed of 100mph and a 0-62mph time of nine seconds. Range of the car is claimed to be around 817 miles and average fuel economy is 31mpg.

In the air the Liberty is powered by a 197bhp engine that can reach a top speed of 112mph. Liberty can also climb to a maximum altitude of 3500m and has a claimed range of 310 miles.

Converting the car from road mode to flight mode takes between five and ten minutes and the Liberty can carry two people.

A flying licence is required to pilot the plane and you won’t be able to take off and land anywhere you please. Between 90-200 metres of space without obstacles is required to take off or land the PAL-V making it more suited to start at airfields and glider sites.

First deliveries of the Liberty are expected for the end of 2018.

PAL-V Liberty won’t be only flying car, says Frost & Sullivan

Frost & Sullivan expects automotive OEMs, start-ups, aerospace companies and other players to make significant investments in the flying cars market and showcase their prototypes in the next 10 years. Flying cars are poised to usher in a whole host of new business services by 2035, including aerial sightseeing services, air surveillance as a service, aerial critical aid delivery, air taxi pay-per-ride, and flying car corporate lease. The key to achieving mass commercialisation of flying cars and attracting more buyers will depend on increased safety features, optimal regulations, and affordable prices.

Start-ups across the globe which are actively involved in building a future flying car have been identified by Frost & Sullivan and will be presented at Frost & Sullivan’s Intelligent Mobility event on the 29th of June in London. The majority of these companies are based in the United States, however, there are participants from a whole host of countries including the UK, France, Germany, Russia, Slovakia, Israel, Russia and Japan. Among the companies expected to launch flying vehicles by 2022 are PAL-V, Terrafugia, Aeromobil, Ehang, E-Volo, Urban Aeronautics, Kitty Hawk and Lilium Aviation, have completed at least one test flight of their flying car prototypes. PAL-V has gone a step further and initiated the pre-sales of its Liberty Pioneer model flying car, which the company aims to deliver by the end 2018. This and other industry trends will be discussed at Frost & Sullivan’s Intelligent Mobility event on the 29th of June in London.

“It will be interesting to see the first applications of flying vehicles. Although the ultimate goal of manufacturers is to address the issue of personal mobility, commercial applications are expected to commence through recreational activities in the form of what could be termed as a single seater flying scooter,” observes Sarwant Singh, Senior Partner Frost & Sullivan. “From flying vehicle rides in amusement parks, aerial sightseeing of landmarks, to a star attraction at events, the recreational potential of flying vehicles is limitless”.

During its upcoming annual industry event “Intelligent Mobility”, taking place on 29th of June 2017 at the Jumeirah Carlton Hotel in London, Frost & Sullivan will offer visionary insights into the future of mobility from leading OEMs and tier-one suppliers, prominent industry thinkers, policymakers and disruptors from companies like Jaguar Land Rover, Facebook, Renault–Nissan Alliance, MAN Trucks, the Financial Times, Mahindra & Mahindra, Transport for London, the Centre for Connected and Autonomous Vehicles, as well as PAL-V International B.V. and Mohyi Labs.

Besides the presentation on Flying Cars, Intelligent Mobility will bring together industry experts on the Future of Mobility Trends, the Role of Healthcare, Wellness and Wellbeing in Cars as well as Connected and Autonomous Vehicles. Moreover, the event will shed light on carefully selected auto tech startups and their particular business models to showcase the extent of disruption the industry faces. The conference will be complemented by a debate at the House of Lords and the Frost & Sullivan Intelligent Mobility Awards Banquet, a black tie evening and gala dinner.

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