The dream of a flying car is almost as old as the automobile itself, but no one has been able to get started with the idea so far. In recent years, however, many suspicious projects in this regard have accumulated, and one of these – the PAL-V Liberty – has now been approved for road usage and can be spotted on the European roads.
After flying and driving the test prototypes in 2012, PAL-V started the design of the Liberty, its commercial product. Recently the Liberty passed the stringent European road admission tests and now is allowed on the streets with an official license plate. It has completed a rigorous and extensive drive test program carried out on test tracks since February 2020. From high-speed ovals, brake, and emission tests to noise pollution testing, the PAL-V Liberty is now ready to take on the roads.
If you take a closer look at it, the PAL-V Liberty is a gyroplane with headlights and indicators. On the ground, the propeller and rotor are stopped and power is diverted to the wheels, allowing it to travel as a three-wheeled car. With only 664 kg of weight and capacity for two people, the PAL-V Liberty is equipped with a gasoline engine that develops 101 hp and provides a top speed of 100 mph (160 km/h) in the road mode, with a range of 1,300 km.
On the ground, the two-seater needs less than nine seconds to sprint from 0-62 mph (0-100 km/h). In-flight mode, the engine power rises to 203 hp for a maximum speed of 112 mph (180 km/h), with cruising speed and air range of 400-500 km. To take flight, the PAL-V Liberty needs 330 meters of free ground, with just 30 meters to land safely.
PAL-V Liberty, which has been trying to obtain the necessary documents from the EASA (European Aviation Safety Agency) since 2015, will also have a flight certificate by 2022. In the coming months, however, it will still have to undergo endurance tests on several national roads throughout Europe.
It is a decisive step for the PAL-V Liberty to now pass to the second stage of approval: obtaining the longed-for certification that allows it to fly. After this approval phase, the first deliveries of the flying car will be authorized to customers who have already pre-ordered it.