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In 2012, the Dutch company Pal-V developed a prototype car that could turn into a helicopter. Called Pal-V One, this futuristic vehicle was in fact an aircraft that had a rotor in the horizontal plane and a propeller in the vertical plane. Since then, the prototype has evolved a lot, to give birth to the Pal-V Liberty, the first flying car scheduled for sale in 2018.
For several years now, we have heard about the flying car and drone taxi projects carried by big names in the high-tech industry such as Larry Page (Google), Uber, Airbus. However, for the moment, none of these initiatives has yet succeeded. These giants have even had their hair done at the pole by a Dutch company that has hitherto been rather discreet. PAL-V has just announced the marketing of the first flying car from 2018.
The PAL-V Liberty is a three-wheeled gyroplane capable of carrying two people over a distance of up to 500 kilometers. The machine measures 4 x 2 x 1.7 meters in road mode and 6 x 2 x 3.2 meters in aviation mode. It is fitted with a two-bladed rotor with a total wingspan of 10.7 meters which folds up onto the roof of the aircraft. About ten minutes are enough to switch from car mode to steering wheel mode and vice versa.
The PAL-V weighs 664 kg empty and can carry two people with 20 kg of luggage for a total take-off weight of 910 kg. It is equipped with a powertrain that delivers 100 hp of power for road use and 200 hp for flight. As for the range, the car can travel 1315 km with an average consumption of 7.6 l / 100 km and reach a top speed of 160 km / h. In airplane mode, the PAL-V can travel up to 500 km with a single passenger at a maximum speed and altitude of 180 km / h and 3,500 meters respectively. In its commercial presentation, the manufacturer praises its creation as an instrument offering unprecedented freedom of movement. However, you should not imagine taking off and landing from your garden or getting out of a traffic jam at the push of a button.
Indeed, this autogyro needs a track measuring at least 330 meters to be able to rise in the air and a track of 30 meters to be able to land. Aviation mode can only be used from an aerodrome and the driver must have a pilot's license and a well-stocked wallet. Two models of this gyroplane are now available for pre-order: the PAL-V Liberty Pioneer Edition at 499,000 euros, and the PAL-V Liberty Sport, at 299,000 euros.
The most expensive version offers a cockpit with dual control and a customizable interior. PAL-Vs are approved by the European (EASA) and United States (FAA) authorities. The first copies will be delivered from the end of 2018.
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