World's first commercial flying car to take to roads – and skies – in 2018

Dutch company Pal-V say the Liberty aircraft is in line with both air and road regulations 

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The Independent Online

The world's first commercial flying cars could soon take off from UK roads. 

The cross-breed vehicle between a car and a helicopter has been designed by Dutch company Pal-V and the first model is expected to roll off the production line in 2018. 

The Back to the Future dream of flying a car could soon become a reality. 

According to Pal-V, its Liberty vehicle is in line with all existing air and road regulations. 

Liberty is a gyroplane, which like a helicopter has large horizontal rotor blades but the difference is that these rotors are powered by the wind. 

The forward motion comes from a propeller at the back of the vehicle, which is equipped with two 100 horses engines – with an additional one for safety. 

In the air, Liberty can fly up to 110mph and 100mph on the road.

Pal-V says it takes 10 minutes to switch from driving to flying mode and, in the air, Liberty can fly for 310 miles from a full tank.  

The cockpit can only take two people including the pilot, but a family model could be the next technology challenge. 

The Dutch company wants Liberty to promote a new idea of “freedom of mobility” thanks to what it has coined “FlyDriving”. 

According to Pal-V, the appeal of the flying car is that besides from being quick and practical, it is also a fun experience. 

“Fly over mountains, rivers, lakes and traffic jams and drive on. Play more, get more things done and enjoy the ride at the same time,” the company says on its website

But flying a car will require some prior expertise. 

In the UK, the EU and the US, pilots will be expected to pass a private pilot's licence so they can be safe both on the road and in the air. 

The basic model will go on sale for $400,000 (£319,000) but the "Pioneer" edition, which will be the first model on the market will near the $600,000 (£478,000). 

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