It seems we’ve been waiting for a flying car ever since George Jetson took to the airways in the 1962 animated sitcom, “The Jetsons.” Wait no more, the flying car is here! But don’t sell your MINI just yet.
The first flying car that you can actually buy, the PAL-V Liberty, is set to debut at the Geneva Motor Show in March. The Liberty transforms from a three-wheeled car to a gyroplane in about 10 minutes. On the road it will reach 0-62mph in under nine seconds and top out at 100mph. In the sky it will fly at 112mph and have a range of 310 miles. Maximum flying altitude is 11,482 feet. Price for the PAL-V is around $591,000, and a Liberty Sport model will cost around $354,000. Buyers will be able to fly it in Europe with a Recreational Pilot License or a Private Pilot License.
The Liberty is not the only car in the sky. Airbus just passed its first test flight of a self-piloted electric vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) craft, the Vahana, in Pendleton, Oregon. The Vahana is being developed at an Airbus facility in Silicon Valley with hopes of someday carrying commuters as well as cargo delivery and potentially as an ambulance, rescue or taxi.
Also taking off in the flying car arena is Volvo’s parent company Geely, which purchased US-based Terrafugia, a flying car start-up that says its TF-X model will be in the sky by 2019. With its fold-out wings and dual electric motors, the TF-X is said to have a 400-mile range on a single charge.
In Japan engineers are developing small flying cars that they plan to use to light the Olympic flame at the 2020 Games in Tokyo.
It seems that we truly are on the verge of a flying “car” in some shape or form. If the Wright brothers could see us now!