The first commercial flying car goes up for preorder

Dutch company PAL-V has opened preorders for the Liberty flying car, five years after the company demonstrated the first successful test flight of the vehicle. PAL-V’s Liberty, the first flying car to be sold commercially, is equipped with two engines, one each for driving on the ground and flying in the air. Both engines are supplied by Rotax, an aircraft engine manufacturer based in Austria. The ground vehicle is capable of producing 100 horsepower, with a fuel economy of 31 miles per gallon. It can accelerate to 62 miles per hour in below nine seconds, and has a top speed of 100 miles per hour. In addition, the two-seater Liberty only weighs 1,413 pounds in dry weight, with a filled up 26.4-gallon fuel tank to add around 160 pounds.

While being driven on the ground, the Liberty takes on the form of an enclose three-wheel vehicle capable of going 817 miles on a full tank, with a propeller that is packed tightly to its roof. To take flight, the Liberty’s propeller and tail blades expand, transforming the vehicle into a gyrocopter. According to PAL-V, the process of transitioning from a ground vehicle to an aerial one takes around 10 minutes to complete, and once in the air, the Liberty’s top speed increases to 112 miles per hour and its horsepower bumps up to 200 horsepower, but at a lowered range of 310 miles on a full tank. The range, however, further drops to 248 miles when a passenger is on board on the second seat. Maximum operating altitude, meanwhile, is at 11,480 feet.