Flying Car Gets Permission To Drive On European Roads
Since The Jetsons first appeared on American television screens in the 1960s, people have been waiting for the day when they might own a flying car of their own.
Well, it seems like that day is getting closer, as a new flying car prototype has become the first to officially be given permission to drive on European roads.
PAL-V, the company behind the world’s first flying car, announced today that its Liberty gyro-copter had been granted permission from the Netherlands Vehicle Authority to take the the streets.
The PAL-V Liberty is a road car with a foldable rotor, and the company refers to it interchangeably as ‘a car that flies’ and ‘a plane that drives’.
PsychNewsDaily reports that the Liberty, which runs on standard petrol, has a range of 1,315km on the road, and can stay in the air for 4.3 hours, hitting max speeds of 180km/h. The car can hold about 100 litres of fuel, which is about twice as much as a Honda Accord.
On its website, PAL-V says that the car, which has been in development since 2007, has been a labour of love for its designers:
We are proud that some of the Dutch’ most skillful engineers have put blood, sweat and tears into creating a trailblazing flying car out of a mere fantasy, all in conformity with the highest safety standards
PAL-V adds that at this point in the Liberty’s development, drivers shouldn’t expect the car to seamlessly transition from the ground to the air. It takes about 5-10 minutes for the car to switch from drive to flight mode, and the gyro-copter requires 180-330 metres of open road – or runway – for take-off.
Videos of the Liberty show the car driving around a circuit and on Dutch streets, but there’s not much footage of it actually in the air.
Even so, that hasn’t stopped some auto-futurists from betting on the PAL-V. The company reports that 30 Dutch residents have already ordered and paid for the car, which – at more than half a million pounds – is some investment.
And while it’s good news that the car can take to the roads, those buyers could still have some time to wait until they can take their very own models out for a spin. The Netherlands Vehicle Authority is yet to grant permission for the Liberty to go into full production, and PAL-V doesn’t expect to be granted flying permission by the European Aviation Safety Agency until 2022.
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