‘A CAR THAT FLIES - A PLANE THAT DRIVES’ is the tagline that a Dutch firm is using to describe their gorgeous new PAL-V Liberty flying car. It’s a beautifully weird looking thing, as you can see from the pictures, which uses fully retractable blades and propellers to take to the skies - ideal for avoiding rush hour traffic.
The car is based on a 3-wheel platform and uses a 100 horsepower engine to negotiate the roads with its blades withdrawn. It’s actually pretty usable on the roads. The engine has a top speed of just under 100 mph and it will return a solid 37 mpg. That's quite easy to live with, the only drawback might be that the PAL-V only seats the driver and one passenger, so it’s less than ideal for a school run.
Then, when you’re out in the open, the magic happens. The vertical propellers extend up and out, away from the body of the car while the rear blades grow out of the rear and within a few minutes, your car has turned into a helicopter. The PAL-V then only needs 330 metres of clearance and it is safe to take off into the skies where it can stay flying for over 4 hours - although that's using the entire reserve tank and you don’t want to be caught short on fuel.
Even with the maximum take-off weight onboard, the PAL-V will still be able to fly a huge 400 kilometres, which is from London to Newcastle. With only one passenger on board the PAL-V if good for 500 kilometres, which is almost from London to Glasgow!
As you’d expect, there’s a whole load of safety issues that come with flying a car in public, but the PAL-V has a maximum flying altitude of 3,500 metres, and commercial airlines fly at over 33,000 metres so the two aren’t likely to cross paths unless you’re flying near an airport… which will probably be very illegal.
Interestingly, the PAL-V comes with a surprisingly gorgeous full leather interior, and the test model has beautiful beige colouring to go with it and sophisticated stitching. The engineering and mechanical craftsmanship has come from the dutch but the design on both the interior and exterior has been handled by a number of Italian firms, which appears to be a delightful combination as it really is a beautiful looking thing.
The dashboard is very far from ‘minimalist’ however, as the number of dials, displays and buttons make the interior look like an aircraft cockpit… which makes sense.
There are two models of the PAL-V on sale, with the ‘entry level’ being called the Liberty Sport and that starts from €299,000.00 excluding any taxes. Then there is the PAL-V Liberty Pioneer Edition and that costs from €499,000.00 excluding taxes although that model comes fully loaded with equipment whereas the Sports model isn’t nearly as well equipped.
So, what do you think? Is the PAL-V a revolutionary flying car or is it a brilliant idea that will never work in the real world? Let us know in the comments below.