The Geneva International Motor Show is going on now, so watch for the latest and greatest cars to be in the news for the next few weeks.
Of all the cool new cars this year, the PAL-V Liberty is getting more buzz than most of the others, and that’s because it can fly!
Yes, that’s right, you can pre-order a flying car. Here’s a short promo about the PAL-V Liberty.
Here’s a short clip from Euronews that features PAL-V’s CEO Robert Dingemanse explaining more about the vehicle and how they plan to support its owners.
You can find out more about the PAL-V Liberty on their website and YouTube Channel. There are also a ton of reviews in the news — here’s a small sample.
Look at the production version of the PAL-V Liberty flying car (Darrell Etherington, Tech Crunch)
The world’s first flying car you can buy is now taking orders (David Reid, CNBC)
Of course, the PAL-V Liberty isn’t the first flying car to ever be invented. There is quite a long history of attempts to build contraptions that can master both road and sky. Here’s a lovely two minute clip from the Smithsonian Channel about how Waldo Waterman invented the world’s first flying car back in 1934, and you can find out a more about the history of flying cars from their YouTube series Incredible Flying Cars (Smithsonian Channel).
There are actually a number of companies trying to bring viable flying cars to market now. Here’s a clip that covers PAL-V and three of its competitors.
This article includes even more designs and models.
Flying Cars, Several Designs (Experimental Aircraft)
The most often mentioned competitor to the PAL-V Liberty is the Terrafugia TF-X, and the probability of its success greatly increased last year when the Zhejiang Geely Holding Group (Chinese parent of Volvo and Lotus) acquired Terrafugia. Here’s a video of Terrafugia’s CTO discussing the need for flying cars that is now posted on the Geely YouTube Channel.
Here are more articles about the sale.
Volvo parent Geely acquires flying-car startup Terrafugia (Andrew Krok, CNET)
Volvo’s parent company just bought a ‘flying car’ startup (Andrew J. Hawkins, The Verge)
Volvo’s parent company wants to sell you a flying car by 2019 (Brett Williams, Mashable)
Of course, it’s no shocker that DeLorean threw its hat into the flying car ring. Yes, seriously!
Before you go getting all excited about the possibility of running out to your driveway and taking to the open sky, there’s a few caveats to consider. The first thing you may want to know is the price tag. For example, the limited edition PAL-V Liberty Pioneer will be $599,000 and requires a $25.000 non-refundable reservation fee. There are also only going to be 90 of those available. After that you will have to settle for the cheaper PAL-V Liberty Sport at $399,000, and the good news is that one only requires a $10.000 non-refundable reservation fee.
Even if sticker shock didn’t set in, there are a few other things to consider. First there’s that whole having to learn to fly and get a pilot’s license stuff. There are also other pesky little things like government regulations about who gets to fly in the sky and where they get to fly. Here’s a humorous DNews segment from way back in 2013 about these issues.
Here’s a more recent USA Today article from last year that also covers the logistical challenges and realities of letting cars fly in the sky.
Flying cars: A 1950s dream takes to the skies without the rules to stay airborne (Marco della Cava, USA TODAY)
Ha, as if drones weren’t enough of a concern!
So that’s the scoop on flying cars. If you still think they’re cool and want to keep up on the latest news about them, check out Roadable aircraft (Popular Science) and Flying Car Series (New Atlas). Wikipedia also has a nice article on flying cars as well as articles about flying car’s close relatives roadable aircraft, personal air vehicles and hovercars.
If you want to learn more about the latest and greatest cars at the Geneva Motor Show, here’s a clip for that.
Finally, if you want to see what it would be like to fly in a car, or you just want to see what it would be like to fly around over the Alps in Switzerland, or you are just missing that obligatory 360° Video that’s MIA in this post, so far, then this one’s for you 🙂