PAL-V debuted the very first market-ready series-production compact flying car at the 2018 Geneva International Motor Show
PAL-V International is a one-of-a-kind automaker from The Netherlands that has built the world’s first production-ready flying car. Dubbed as the PAL-V Liberty, the very first example of the ‘compact hybrid land-air vehicle’ was introduced back at the 2018 Geneva International Motor Show. PAL-V expands to ‘Personal Air and Land Vehicle’.
Over the years, there have been multiple concepts and working prototypes of flying cars. Almost all of them ended up being one-off projects and highly impractical examples of a novel idea. A few them have even made it to the film industry.
At least in today’s age, such a form of mobility seems like a fairy tale in the Indian motoring scenario. However, PAL-V has confirmed its plans to set up a manufacturing plant in Gujarat with the goal of commencing production by 2021. An MoU (Memorandum of Understanding) has been signed by the Vice President of PAL-V’s International Business Development department, Carlo Maasbommel, with the state’s Industries Principal Secretary, MK Das. Vijay Rupani, the Chief Minister of Gujarat, was present at the occasion.
Being the maker of a unique model of transportation, there are several complications in establishing its production facility in the country. PAL-V has shared that the state government is helping them get all the important documents and approvals from the central government.
According to Mr Maasbommel, the company has made the right choice by setting up production in Gujarat on account of the state’s “world-class infrastructure, ease of doing business and excellent logistic facilities”. The company also intends to export flying cars to the US and certain European markets. In fact, PAL-V has already received well over 100 orders for its product.
The PAL-V Liberty essentially combines the mechanicals of a helicopter with a three-wheeler. The body is mostly made out of carbon-fibre while the internal components originate from aluminium and titanium. Yes, it sounds expensive but has helped bring the weight down to just 680kg. Furthermore, the vehicle needs only 165 metres of flat land to take off and 30 metres to touchdown safely.
Power comes from two 100bhp engines that help the vehicle attain a top speed 180km/h on the road or air. The rotor mechanism is not exactly a miniature version of the system found in conventional helicopters. For the same reason, the PAL-V Liberty is not a VTOL (Vertical Take-Off and Landing) aircraft. If you wish to own one of these in the future, do remember to get a pilot’s licence alongside a hefty paycheck.