Dutch com­pany tak­ing reser­va­tions for gy­rocpter-car

The Witness - Wheels - - INDUSTRY -

AF­TER suc­cess­ful test flights, Dutch fly­ing car de­vel­oper Pal-V last week an­nounced its tak­ing reser­va­tions for its dual-en­gined Lib­erty three-wheel gy­ro­copter.

“Af­ter years of hard work, beat­ing the tech­ni­cal and qual­i­fi­ca­tion chal­lenges, our team succeeded in cre­at­ing an in­no­va­tive fly­ing car that com­plies with ex­ist­ing safety stan­dards, de­ter­mined by reg­u­la­tory bodies around the world,” said Robert Dinge­manse, CEO of Pal-V, in a press state­ment.

The Pal-V Lib­erty has a Ro­tax en­gine-based dual propul­sion driv­e­train, with one en­gine driv­ing the car on road and an­other to fly it.

Pal-V gives the Lib­erty’s 100 HP a top speed as 160 km/h on the road, and re­spectable ninc sec­onds over the 0-100 km sprint. Fuel econ­omy is rated at 7,6 l/100 km for a range of 1 315 km.

In drive mode, the pro­pel­ler is hid­den away in­side the ve­hi­cle’s body while the blades fold into slots on the roof. To fly the Pal-V, a but­ton un­folds the ro­tor mast, but the driver/pi­lot has to man­u­ally pull out the tail sec­tion and un­fold the two ro­tor blades as well as break out the prop to pre­pare for flight.

This al­lows the pi­lot to con­duct the manda­tory pre-flight in­spec­tion on the Pal-V.

In the air, the Lib­erty’s 200 HP fly­ing mode en­gine is re­ported to be about as loud as a small fixed-wing air­plane and gives a max­i­mum speed of 180 km/h, an eco­nomic cruise speed of 140 km/h or a high cruise speed of 160 km/h. Max­i­mum al­ti­tude is of 3 500 me­tres.

The Lib­erty fits into a stan­dard four-me­tre garage and is lower and than most cars at only 1,7 m high in drive mode. The ve­hi­cle is two me­tres wide re­gard­less of mode, and the un­folded ro­tor di­am­e­ter is 10,75 me­tres. It has an empty weight of about half of most small hatches — 664 kg.

The are two ver­sions of the Lib­erty on of­fer, both of which can land on a grass strip.

The Pi­o­neer Edi­tion can be per­son­alised and sells for €499 000, or R6,9 mil­lion, which is less than a Lam­borgh­ini Aven­ta­dor costs.

The stan­dard Sport model costs less, at €299 000/or R4,1 mil­lion, again less than a Lambo Hu­ra­can Spy­der costs in SA. Buy­ers will, how­ever, have to wait a lit­tle longer for de­liv­ery of the fly­ing car than for ei­ther of the Lam­bos, as Pal-V warns it will only start mak­ing pre­pro­duc­tion units later this year, with road and air-cer­ti­fied mod­els set for de­liv­ery to cus­tomers by the end of 2018. Aspris­ing own­ers can use the time to get a pri­vate pi­lot’s li­cence.

PHOTO: PAL-V

Pal-V is now tak­ing reser­va­tions for its Lib­erty three-wheel gy­ro­copter car.

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