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Wednesday, June 21, 2017

First flying car will take flight in 2018!

The three-wheeled vehicle can carry two people and will be certified for use on roads and in the skies.
(AFP)

  • The owner will need both a driving licence and a pilot's licence.
From The Jetsons to Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, flying cars have long captured the imagination. While several futuristic projects are underway in different countries, a Dutch design may be the first one sold and soaring into the skies.

After years of testing, the PAL-V company aims to pip its competitors to the post. It is poised to start production on what they bill as a world first: a three-wheeled gyrocopter-type vehicle which can carry two people and will be certified for use on roads and in the skies."This kind of dream has been around for 100 years now. When the first airplane was invented, people already thought 'How can I make that driveable on the road?'," chief marketing officer Markus Hess told AFP.

The PAL-V (Personal Air and Land Vehicle) firm, based in Raamsdonksveer in the Netherlands, is aiming to deliver its first flying car to its first customer by the end of 2018.

The lucky owner will need both a driving licence and a pilot's licence. But with the keys in hand, the owner will be able to drive to an airfield for the short take-off, and after landing elsewhere drive to the destination in a "door-to-door" experience.

But final assembly on the PAL-V will start in October, with the company seeking to be the first to go into commercial production.

The PAL-V uses normal unleaded petrol for its two 100-horsepower engines, and can fly 400 to 500 kilometres at an altitude of up to 3,500 metres. On the road, it has a top speed of around 170 kilometres an hour.

In 2019, the company expects to produce between 50 and 100 vehicles, before ramping up to "quite a few hundred" in 2020.

It won't be cheap. The first edition, the PAL-V Liberty, costs ?499,000 ($599,000), while the slightly cheaper PAL-V Liberty Sport, to be made next, has a price tag of ?299,000.

PAL-V was founded in 2007 by Robert Dingemanse and pilot John Bakker.
- AFP

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