A DUTCH firm has unveiled what it believes to be the world’s first road and air legal vehicle, and the first 90 units are already on sale.
The PAL-V Liberty has three wheels plus a set of rotor blades which fold away on the roof of the car, which when unfurled give the vehicle the appearance of a Gyrocopter aircraft.
A large, unpowered rotor on the top offers lift, while an engine-powered rear blade provides thrust, and test drivers have claimed that the vehicle is able to take off from speeds as low as 80 kilometres per hour.
Some police forces have expressed an interest in the craft, and half of the first limited edition production run are bound for Europe, with a hefty €500,000 retail price anticipated.
“We have recently started talking to buyers, have the first contracts in place and a lot of interest. We anticipate first deliveries in 2018 starting in Europe,” said Markus Hess, head of marketing and sales at PAL-V.
“In the next several months you can expect to be hearing significant updates, as we commence manufacturing of the PAL-V Limited Edition model,” added CEO Robert Dingemanse. “We have been working in silence for more than four years. Before making any new announcements, we wanted to make sure that all the checks are in the boxes.”
The company eventually hope that the car will be mass-produced, and have thus ensured that it complies with global aviation laws, as well as releasing promotional materials in numerous languages.