Flying cars were featured in "The Jetsons" as a futuristic mode of transportation in the animated TV series that originally aired in the early 1960s. The Dutch company PAL-V is now turning science fiction into reality and taking pre-orders for its new Liberty vehicle before fully autonomous cars hit the market. It claims the riveting vehicle is the first commercial flying car in world history.
The PAL-V has three wheels and a pair of seats, according to The Independent. It contains two engines and a top-mounted rotor that makes the vehicle look like a motorized tricycle with gyrocopter features.
This vehicle has take-off space that usually needs an airfield and requires 10 minutes to switch from driving mode to flying mode. The PAL-V also has a 100 miles-per-hour (161 km/hr) top ground speed, and 0 to 60 mph time of about 9 seconds. It also has a driving range of 817 miles (1,315 km) on a full tank.
When the hybrid vehicle is airborne it has a top flying speed of 112 mph (180 km/hr). The fuel efficiency, meanwhile, has a big drop to 310 miles (499 km) between refueling.
Liberty land/air vehicles have a starting price of $400,000 and will be delivered within the next few years. This price is for the "Sport" base model and does not include various taxes.
People who want a flying car with more bells and whistles can purchase the "Pioneer" model. This high-end edition has a $600,000 price tag.
The Pioneer version includes fancy detailing, power heating, and at-home training, according to Tech Crunch. It also features an electronic version of the flight instrument display instead of the standard electromechanical unit.
PAL-V shared that it hopes to start producing test and certification aircrafts by the end of this year. It also hopes to deliver fully-certified flying cars by the end of 2018.
The company is planning to make 90 Pioneer units during the first production run. People can be put on a waiting list if they want to get a unit that is produced later.
Consumers can pre-order a flying vehicle by making a non-refundable deposit for the Pioneer ($25,000) or Sport ($10,000). Another option is to make a $2,500 escrow deposit that can be refunded.
Here's a video about the PAL-V flying car: