PAL-V started flying and driving its flying car test prototypes back in 2012. That testing led to PAL-V designing its first flying car to be available commercially, the Liberty. The PAL-V’s hybrid composite chassis is made of carbon fiber body composites which work in tandem with air-hardened, heat-treated steel tubing.
The Liberty recently passed the European road admission tests including a rigorous and extensive drive test program carried out on test tracks verifying performance in high-speed ovals, in brake and emission tests and in noise pollution. Once the PAL-V is outfitted with a license plate, it is now ready to hit the road.
The PAL-V Liberty has been also going through aviation certification with EASA (European Aviation Safety Agency) since 2015 and finalization is expected in 2022.
“For me, the trick in successfully making flying car (sic) is to ensure that the design complies with both air and road regulations. 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,” Mike Stekelenburg, chief technology officer of PAL-V.
The PAL-V Liberty is a 2-seater with a maximum take-off weight of 910 kg. On the ground, the maximum speed is 160 km/hour and engine power of 100 hp. In the air, the PAL-V Liberty can attain a maximum speed of 180 km/hour with engine power of 200 hp. The maximum operating altitude is 3,500m.
Hans Joore, test-driver of the PAL-V, explained, “When I fired-up the PAL-V for the first time I really got goosebumps! All the effort that we put into it came together at that crucial moment. Hearing the vehicle come to life was just magnificent and driving it was great. It is very smooth and responsive to the steering and with a weight of just 660 kg it accelerates really well. The overall experience is like a sportscar. It feels sensational.”