World’s first commercial flying car is now on sale
A Dutch vehicle manufacturer has initiated the commercial sale of the world’s first flying car, the PAL-V Liberty. Available in two varieties, the PAL-V Liberty Sport and the Liberty Pioneer are two-person three-wheelers and are capable of flying at speeds of up to 112mph.
Whilst the Sport is the cheaper of the two with the base model starting at $400,000, the Pioneer is priced at $600,000.
PAL-V states that it takes 10 minutes to switch from driving to flying mode and in the air you may travel for 310 miles on a full tank.
The PAL-V Liberty has two distinct attributes that differentiate it from other flying vehicle concepts. The first is that the lift is created by a wind-powered rotor so that the car has the ability to float in the air, whilst the second unique feature is the three-wheel design and the soft-tilting motion in curves.
Meanwhile Uber has reaffirmed its flying cars ambitions with the hire of a former NASA engineer to assist in the company’s efforts. Engineer Mark Moore has 30 years of experience at Nasa and has become the director of engineering for aviation at ‘Uber Elevate’, the company’s flying car initiative.
Uber published a white paper last November in which it outlined its plans for their flying cars. The company wants to use electric-powered, short-range flying cars which will take off and land vertically. Consumers will take regular Uber car rides to a ‘vertiport’ where they will be able to use Uber’s flying cars to transport them to another vertiport located near their destination.
Though the company also acknowledged what it foresees to be the biggest issues facing the development and deployment of flying cars. Uber has noted its concerns over battery life, noise pollution and vehicle efficiency for the flying cars.
Though Moore has also highlighted a number of non-technical issues. He suspects flying car companies will have to negotiate with suppliers so that the vehicles will be affordable. Moore also believes companies will have to campaign for regulators to relax air-traffic restrictions.