The future is finally here: pre-orders just began for the world’s first flying car. After years of development, Netherlands-based PAL-V has launched its Liberty Sport and Liberty Pioneer vehicles – both of which can drive on land and fly through the sky. The future’s not cheap though – the base Sport model starts at $399,000 USD.
According to Flying Magazine, PAL-V has been working on the Liberty for more than 15 years, with the first test flight taking place in 2015. The three-wheeled vehicle is built around a unique Rotax engine that powers a dual-propulsion drivetrain. When the vehicle is in drive mode, its propeller conveniently tucks into the back of the vehicle and the rotors fold up top. According to the company, the Liberty can travel at speeds up to 100 miles per hour, and the car can switch from driving to flying mode in just 10 to 15 minutes.
Before you decide to make a $10,000 down payment to own one of these puppies, keep in mind that regulations require Liberty pilots to take off from an airstrip or airfield – not from your backyard or even on the road. The vehicle needs at least 590 feet of space to lift off the ground, and it can be flown to a maximum altitude of 11,480 feet.
The base Sport model costs $399,000, and the tricked-out Pioneer model comes in at $599,000 – which begs the question as to whether these flying cars are truly “commercially available.” They do come with introductory training lessons, but you’ll need to get a pilot’s license before you get off the ground.
The Liberty is expected to arrive on doorsteps by late 2018
Image and video via PAL-V