If any of you gearheads happened to find yourselves out in Switzerland recently, you might have caught the Geneva International Motor Show. I’ll be honest, I wasn’t there, and I haven’t seen anything else from the show so far. But, I can state, unequivocally and as a matter of objective fact, that the coolest thing on display came from PAL-V. In a move that brings us all one step closer to living in an episode of The Jetsons, the Dutch manufacturer unveiled the world’s first commercially available flying cars!
PAL-V Flying Cars
Ok, admittedly, these flying cars look more like street legal helicopters, which probably isn’t too far off the actual mark. However, these flying cars actually qualify as a three-wheeled “autogyro.” As opposed to having a powered top rotor, a rear propeller provides the forward thrust for flight. The unpowered top rotor catches the wind around it and provides lift.
In “road mode”, the 99 horsepower engine can reach 60 MPH in just under 9 seconds. It has a top speed of around 100 MPH. In the air, however, this 2-seater can reach 112 MPH, thanks to its 197 hp flying engine. It can climb to a maximum altitude of 11,000 ft. As a safety precaution, these flying cars are equipped with an emergency landing overload system that cushions against impact.
When driving, the PAL-V’s rotor blades retract and fold up onto the top of the body. It does look strange, but the entire body will fit in a standard parking spot, or in a garage.
Now Taking Orders
PAL-V rolled out its final production model a few days ago. Though the company still waits to receive the final safety certifications, they expect to start delivering their flying cars in 2019. Until then, PAL-V is taking pre-orders over their website.
The first, limited edition model coming off the production line should run you just north of $600,000. After the 90-car run, the company expects the “Liberty Sport Edition” of their flying cars to drop to a more reasonable $400,000 or less. While these prices may seem a bit prohibitive for most of us, it should be noted that the cost does include flying lessons.
I’ve Got Half A Million Dollars, What Else Do I Need?
For those of us over here in the United States, the PAL-V flying cars will fly under the rules of the FAA. For those in other parts, the flying cars will operate under the rules of European safety agencies. In either case, not only will a standard driver’s license be required, but also a pilot’s license. The company also states that – and this should probably be a no-brainer as well – you’ll need access to airstrips for take-off and landing.
For more information about PAL-V flying cars, or to put in a pre-order, check out the company’s website here.
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