DUTCH FIRM GETS OK FOR ITS PAL-V FLYING CAR
A Dutch company has succeeded in making Pal-V Liberty the world’s first production model flying car and it is street legal in Europe, Loz Blain reported for New Atlas..
A high-performance trike that converts into a gyrocopter, the Liberty has been street-approved in the European Union (EU) after 20 years of development.
In road mode, its 100-horsepower (hp) engine can do 100 mph (160 kmh), and a 0-62 mph (0-100 km/h) sprint in less than nine seconds. In flight mode, it's a two-seat gyrocopter with a pusher prop on a separate 200-hp motor and a large top rotor that spins slowly and freely up top. It can take off using as little as 330 m (1,000 ft) of runway, reaching a maximum speed of 112 mph (180 km/h) in the air at altitudes up to 11,480 ft (3,500 m), and landing on as little as 30 m (100 feet) of runway. Its 26.4-gallon (100-liter) fuel tank gives it an impressive endurance of 4.3 hours in the sky, offering a range around 310 miles (500 km) with a half hour's reserve in the tank. In road mode, you can travel for miles (1,315 km) before refueling.
Pal-V Chief Technical Officer (CTO) Mike Stekelenburg said "We have been cooperating with the road authorities for many years to reach this milestone. The excitement you feel in the team is huge. It was very challenging to make a “folded aircraft” pass all road admission tests ... I feel the energy and motivation in our team to push hard for the last few milestones and get the Liberty certified for flying too." Indeed, Pal-V has had prototypes in the air since 2012, and the Liberty has been undergoing the torturous process of European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) aviation certification for five years at this point. According to the company, "over 1,200 test reports need to be completed before the final 150 hours of flight testing can take place," and currently that's expected to keep these guys busy until at least 2022.