For Sale: World’s First Flying Car

The first flying car makes its debut Source: Thankfully priced beyond the reach of many motorists, the world’s first flying car is for sale – but do not expect to see any on the roads or in the skies until next year. The debut of the rather silly-looking Liberty Pioneer and Sport editions by Dutch company PAL-V took place at Switzerland’s internationally renowned Geneva Motor Show in March. According to the flying car’s makers, it complies with existing aviation regulations, and will be sold only to buyers who have not only access to an airstrip, but a pilot’s license as well. That said, the €499 000 and €299 000 price tags of the Pioneer and Sport editions limited to an exclusive 90 models, includes flying lessons.

A Closer Look at the Car

Don’t expect the sleek lines of other hi tech products like the iPhone, or something that looks like one of the Jetsons’ spacecraft complete with retro vibes. The first flying car the world has ever seen is really nothing to look at. As far as design goes, the Liberty vehicles look like isolation tanks that are not sure if they would rather be tricycles or helicopters. Still, this is about advancement in technology, not the aesthetics of beauty. It may be ugly, but with a top road speed of 100 mph, a road range of 817 miles, a maximum flight speed of 112 mph, a 310-mile estimated flight range, and the ability to cruise up to 11 000 feet – it has a wonderful personality. However, if you think one of PAL-V’s 2-seater flying cars would be the ideal vehicle for a quick casino weekend away , you may need to think again. Neither the Liberty Pioneer nor the Liberty Sport are as fancy as a hard-top convertible. The conversion from car to flying machine must be done manually. Users will need to pull out the tail section before unfolding the rotor blades on the mast that rises automatically. The prop will also need to be taken out. The cars are propelled by Rotax 99bhp road and 197bhp flying engines. They feature top and back rotors for lift and thrust, respectively. Despite its chopper-like rotors, the flying cars do not take off the way helicopters do. They still require a good deal of take-off space free from obstructions. As far as their road-handling goes, the Libertys are similar to motorcycles. You can expect them to lean into corners, and, like motorcycles, are sensitive to how forcefully drivers take those corners.

Flying Car Licenses

While a pilot’s license is a necessary requirement for purchasing a Liberty flying car, it is not necessary for driving them. In keeping with the majority of international motoring laws, drivers need only a valid driver’s license to use the vehicles on the roads. However, when it comes to flying them, users must have either a private pilot licensed or a recreational pilot license, at least in Europe.

Flying Cars: Unanswered Questions

The debut of the first flying car in the world could be the beginning in massive changes in aviation and motoring legislation around the world. Despite its makers’ claim that the vehicle complies with existing laws, the contraption begs questions that, for the time being, remain unanswered. To start with, there are questions about how their use will be policed and legislation enforced, how a possible or probable increase in the number of such vehicles will affect commercial air traffic, and how countries’ borders will be controlled effectively. Until these questions can be answered, the steep price tags are a small mercy.
Categories: Technology
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