World’s first ever commercial flying car, known as the PAL-V Liberty, has been launched for £425,000 (approximately INR 3.54 crore). The Dutch manufacturer has revealed that the first customer units will be delivered by the end of 2018. Initially available as the Liberty Pioneer edition, only 90 units of the model will be available for purchase, with about half of them already headed to Europe. Buyers of the Liberty Pioneer edition will also receive flight instruction sessions, power heating and personalization options as a part of the package.
The limited edition model will be followed by another variant, known as the Liberty Sport. Commanding a price tag of USD 399,000 (approximately INR 2.66 crore), purchase of the model will include power heating and flying sessions as well as carbon-fibre detailing. The personalization option on this model though, will be limited.
Assembled in Switzerland, the Liberty will be made of parts and systems sourced from other companies in various countries. Its dual propulsion drive-train is based on two Rotax airplane engines. One engine is used for driving while the other is used for flying purposes. The drive-mode engine produces 100 hp and can sprint from 0-100 kmph in 9 seconds, up to a top speed of 160 kmph. The fuel economy in this mode is claimed to be 31 mpg (11 kmpl) while the range stands at an impressive 1314 km. In the air-mode, the engine produces 199 hp and can fly up to an altitude of 3500m, with a top speed of 179 kmph. In this mode, the model claims to have a range of 498 km.
The PAL-V Liberty has a three wheel design with rotor blades on the roof that can be unfolded when one feels the need to be up in the air. The large rotor on the top provides the lift. The blade on the rear, which is powered by the air-mode engine, gives thrust to the vehicle. The model, which seats 2 people, takes about 5-10 minutes to convert from drive mode to fly mode or vice-versa. While the rotor mast unfolds on its own, the user has to pull out the tail section, unfold the two rotor blades and take out the propeller before the model is ready to fly.
Did we mention that you would also need a separate license to fly? Fret not, for the company offers flying sessions too, as we mentioned before. Once you get the license, you still cannot just take-off from any piece of land. The company says that you need a space for take-off measuring about 90-200 by 20 meters (100 ft-650 ft by 60 ft) without surrounding obstacles.
You can have a look at the official video of the PAL-V Liberty here:
Following is an image gallery for the PAL-V Liberty (click to expand):
Here are the official technical specifications for the PAL-V Liberty:
DRIVE MODE EU
|Max Speed||160 km/h|
|Top speed acceleration (0-100 km/h)||<9 seconds|
|Engine power||100 hp|
|Fuel economy:||7.6 l/100km|
FLIGHT MODE EU
|Economic cruise speed||140 km/h|
|High cruise speed (90% range)||160 km/h|
|Maximum speed||180 km/h|
|Min speed for level flight||50 km/h|
|Engine power:||200 hp|
|Maximum operating altitude||3500m|
|Useful load||246 kg|
|Take-off roll (MTOW, MSL)||180m|
|Take-off distance (+ 15m obstacle clearance) (MTOW***, MSL****)||330m|
|Landing roll distance||30m|
|Fuel economy||26 l/h|
|Max Range (with ½ hour reserve fuel*, MTOW)||400 km|
|Max Range (with ½ hour reserve fuel, single person operation, MSL)||500 km|
|Max endurance (with ½ hour reserve fuel, MTOW)||4.3 hours|
* ½ hour reserve fuel is 100-150 km of fuel left for driving
*** Maximum Take-off Weight
**** Mean Sea Level
TECHNICAL SPECIFICATIONS EU
|Mass Empty||664 kg|
|Maximum Take-Off Weight (MTOW)||910 kg|
|Fuel type||Euro 95, Euro 98, E10, Avgas**|
|Fuel capacity||100 l|
|Dimensions Drive-mode||4m L x 2m W x 1.7m H|
|Dimensions Flight-mode||6.1m L x 2m W x 3.2m H (Rotor diameter is 10.75m)|
|Maximum baggage load||20 kg|