We have been seeing flying cars for a very long time in sci-fi flicks and for the longest time, it remained confined to just screens. They have eluded us simply because they were extremely challenging to make.
However, now, a number of companies have taken up the challenge and they have been breaking new grounds in the recent past. And, yes, there's one in Europe which is now officially road legal. Pal-V, which is a Dutch company, has announced that its Liberty flying car can now be legally used on roads in Europe. Hence, it is now the making the first flying car in the world to become road legal.
The company has said that the Pal-V Liberty had been undergoing a series of rigorous and extensive drive test programmes which has helped them become road legal. This flying car was subjected to tests like braking, high-speed ovals, emission, noise pollution, among other things before they were given legal permit to be used on public streets.
Mike Stekelenburg, CTO, PAL-V, said, "With the memories in the mind of fly and drive testing our proof of concept, the PAL-V One, I was really looking forward to testing the Liberty. 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. For me, the trick in successfully making a flying car is to ensure that the design complies with both air and road regulations. I feel the energy and motivation in our team to push hard for the last few milestones and get the Liberty certified for flying too."
As far as the visuals are concerned, the Pal-V Liberty looks like a modern car on three wheels. The roof mounts foldable rotors that help the vehicle fly. Safety has been paramount, and hence, Pal-V Liberty needs to be driven to an airstrip to be flown.
It can accommodate two passengers. When being driven on the streets, the flying car can achieve a top speed of 150 km/h and has 99 bhp on tap. However, when it is put in flight mode, the Pal-V Liberty flying car can achieve a maximum speed of 180 km/h and it can be in the air for a distance of up to 500 km.