The Pal-V Liberty will be on display at the Farnborough International Airshow from July 16 through 22 later this month in England. The Pal-V has been under development since 2001 and is a three seat gyroplane that converted to a two seat gyroplane.
Liberty is planning on attaining FAA certification by 2020. If certification is gained by this point, deliveries should began shortly thereafter.
The certification date of 2020 is later than intended on for Pal-V – the aircraft was initially targeting a 2017 certification completion date, which was moved to 2019, and now finally 2020.
From the Robb Report Website: “The company continues to accept orders for the Liberty, which is available in two models: the fully loaded Liberty Pioneer Edition and the base model Liberty Sport. The estimated price of the Pioneer Edition is about $600,000, and it’s roughly $400,000 for the Sport. Pal-V plans to build only 90 examples of the Pioneer Edition and sell only 25 in the North American market. Reserving a Liberty requires a non-refundable deposit of $25,000 for the Pioneer and $10,000 for the Sport. (Pal-V says it will refund the deposits if the Liberty fails to receive certification.)
Both Liberty models will have a maximum speed of just under 100 mph in driving mode and a zero-to-60-mph time of less than 9 seconds. In flying mode, both will have a high cruising speed of nearly 100 mph and a range of about 250 miles with two people aboard and 310 miles with just a pilot. Pal-V recommends a runway—paved or level grass—of at least 900 feet for takeoff and a 100-foot strip for landing.
It’s perhaps fitting that the world’s first production flying car is a gyroplane—an unusual aircraft design that harkens back to the earliest days of powered flight and, while never completely disappearing, has always lived on the edge of mainstream aviation. Unlike a helicopter, a gyroplane’s blades are not powered by a motor; instead, they spin freely and generate lift as a result of their forward motion through the air. The vehicle’s forward thrust is provided by a separate motor and propeller, more akin to a fixed-wing airplane. That’s why the Liberty needs 900 feet to take off; it cannot rise vertically like a conventional helicopter. But one of the primary advantages of the design is a much lower stall speed and easier handling.
The Liberty converts from an automobile into a gyroplane in about 10 minutes—the amount of time it takes to unfold the blades, which are bundled on the roof when the vehicle is in driving mode.
To operate the Liberty in the United States, you’ll need a standard driver’s license and a gyroplane license. The latter requires 30 to 40 hours of training. The company plans to offer flying lessons at its Pal-V FlyDrive Academy locations, one of which will be located in Florida.”