Flying Car Gets Approved for Road Use, Aviation Certification Still Years Away

We must admit, despite all the great promises made by companies over the years, we never thought we’ll get to the point where we’ll actually see flying cars become road legal. Yet this is exactly what Dutch company Pal-V announced this week.
Pal-V Liberty 9 photos
Photo: Pal-V
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The name might be familiar to some of you. Pal-V has been around in some form or another ever since 2008, but only in the more recent years it came into the spotlight, after bringing its designs to car shows across the Old Continent.

Liberty is how the group's main contraption is called, and Pal-V announced it just passed the European road admission tests, so it can now be legally be driven and registered for use on the roads there.

“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,” said in a statement Mike Stekelenburg, CTO of PAL-V.

The company says that since it is now allowed on public roads, the Liberty will begin endurance testing in undisclosed regions, so chances are at least some Europeans will start seeing it in the metal. On the other hand, aviation certification with the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) is expected to be concluded sometime in 2022.

Back in March 2019, Pal-V showed a variant of the Liberty at the Geneva Motor Show. Designed as a gyrocopter of sorts that can double as a car, it uses a dual engine that allows it to reach a top speed of 160 km/h (99 mph) on land or 140 km/h in the air (87 mph, economic cruise speed).

The top of the range Liberty variant is called Pioneer and retails for EUR 499,000 ($585,000) - for reference, the less loaded PAL-V costs EUR 299,000 ($350,000). Plans were for the machine to enter production by the end of last year, but given all that’s going on in the world, we have no confirmation of that happening yet.

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About the author: Daniel Patrascu
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Daniel loves writing (or so he claims), and he uses this skill to offer readers a "behind the scenes" look at the automotive industry. He also enjoys talking about space exploration and robots, because in his view the only way forward for humanity is away from this planet, in metal bodies.
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