The moving gyroplane “Liberty” from the Dutch manufacturer PAL-V has now received European road approval. The company announced that it will next be on the road with folded wings on a test basis on European roads in the coming months.
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PAL-V was founded in 2008 and the first test drives took place in 2009. The company originally planned to deliver the first copies to pre-orderers at the end of 2018. Nothing came of it. PAL-V explained to heise online that it was about the first flying car to be approved for both air and road traffic. The scope of the complex project with “new things without references” was unfortunately not foreseeable.
PAL-V technical director Mike Stekelenburg explains that “it is a great challenge that a ‘folded airplane’ passes all certification tests”. The hardest part is ensuring that the construction complies with both aviation and road traffic regulations.
The two-seater Liberty flies on petrol and biofuel and should be able to drive or fly at speeds of up to 160 km / h. One tank of fuel should be enough for 1315 km on the road and up to 500 km in the air.
PAL-V sees the European approval for road traffic as an important milestone, now it is about the approval for the air. The European Aviation Security Agency (EASA) was first contacted by PAL-V in 2009 and there has been more active cooperation with the authority for five years. From this it can be concluded that EASA is confident. The first flight tests will take place in 2021 and the first vehicles will be delivered in 2022, PAL-V announced to heise online. Before that, more than 1200 test reports would have to be filled out before the last 150 flight test hours can take place.
The 660 kg Liberty is to come onto the market in two versions: The PAL-V Liberty Pioneer Edition is to be offered in a limited edition of 90 copies at a price of 500,000 euros each (before taxes). The PAL-V Liberty Sport will cost 299,000 euros. So far there have been 30 pre-orders in the Netherlands alone, said PAL-V heise online. The pilots need proof of proficiency.
Since February 2020 the Liberty has completed “a strict and extensive driving test program” on test tracks. “After high-speed tests on the racetrack and tests for brake and engine noise, the PAL-V is now ready for use in road traffic”, it says in a message.