A flying car is no longer a fantasy. Dutch firm PAL-V is ready with the world's first road- and air-legal flying car, the PAL-V Liberty. Bookings for the flying car have commenced with deliveries to customers slated to begin by end-2018.
Given the growing challenge of road congestion in Indian cities and the number of high net worth individuals, it won't be surprising if PAL-V finds a few customers in India. Possibly the reason why PAL-V plans to launch the flying car in India.
In an email interaction with Autocar Professional, a PAL-V spokesperson says that the company plans to launch the PAL-V Liberty in India too, as part of its strategy to sell it worldwide.
It is not clear yet whether the PAL-V Liberty may face any legal / regulatory hurdle to launch in India.
The PAL-V Liberty sports an entry-level price tag of US$399,000 (around Rs. 2.52 crore) excluding taxes.
According to PAL-V, to convert the car from drive to fly mode or vice-versa takes around 5-10 minutes. The rotor mast unfolds automatically, but the driver must pull out the tail section, unfold two rotor blades and take out the prop to ready it to fly.
You also need a license to fly, and you can’t just take off and land anywhere; PAL-V says the Liberty requires take-off space of around 90-200x200 metres without obstacles. It says that small airstrips, aerodomes, glider sites and ultralight airfields will be most appropriate.
The manufacturer says the noise that the Liberty generates in flight will be comparable to a small fixed wing aeroplane, saying it will be “much less” than a helicopter. The drive mode engine has 99bhp and a top speed of 160kph, with 0-100kph sprint taking 9.0sec. Fuel economy is a claimed 31mpg/10.97kpl with a range of 817 miles/1,307 kilometres.
In the air, the Liberty can climb to a maximum altitude of 3500m, and its 197bhp flying engine can propel it up to a top speed of 112mph/179kph. Its range is a claimed 310 miles/1,307 kilometres. The Liberty will be assembled in the Netherlands, with specific parts and systems manufactured by other companies in different countries.
PAL-V Liberty - the world's first production road- and air-legal car goes on sale