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.