We’ve been dreaming about flying cars for decades now – they’re a part of every imagined future in movies since the 80s, and who hasn’t wished for wings when they’re stuck in a traffic jam? But flying cars are finally a reality: the world’s first flying car has hit the roads in Europe. Meet the PAL-V Liberty: it drives, it flies, and you can park it in your garage.
The flying car was made by a Dutch company called PAL-V, which stands for Personal Air and Land Vehicle. Founding PAL-V together in 2008, Dutch engineers Robert Dingemanse and John Bakker got straight to work developing a ground-breaking flying car, and unveiled test prototypes in 2012.
Now, the PAL-V Liberty, which is the commercial model designed for personal use, has passed rigorous road admission testing from European motor authorities. Currently, the PAL-V flying car is approved for road use, and will be seen on European roads soon – just as soon as someone with enough money to buy one does.
About the PAL-V Liberty, the world’s first flying car
So what are the possibilities with a flying car? Some exciting facts about the PAL-V Liberty:
- It needs less than 200 metres of air strip to take off, and its landing roll distance is just 30 metres.
- It has two engines – one for driving and one for flying.
- In Drive Mode, the PAL-V Liberty can reach 160 kmp/h, and in Flight Mode, up to 180 kmp/h. It takes 5-10 minutes for the car to switch between modes.
- It is envisioned that drivers will be able to fly within and between cities, with a range of 400-500 kilometres and endurance of about 4 hours.
- It can take 2 passengers, and the pilot needs to have both a driver’s and pilot’s licence.
So, when will we see flying cars in Australia?
While the PAL-V flying car has been certified to fly under European aviation regulations and can be driven on European roads, there are some final hurdles to jump before drivers can take flight. With over 1,200 test reports to be completed before the last 150 hours of flight testing can happen, finalisation is expected in 2022.
We probably can’t fix your flying car yet, but we’re always ready for your good old road vehicles! Drop in to your local Express Lube and we’ll make it good as new.