Dutch advanced air mobility (AAM) innovator PAL-V International has opened a base in the UK dedicated to selling and promoting its Liberty “flying car.” The facility at London Oxford Airport—situated around 100 km (62 miles) northwest of the UK capital—will also house a simulator of the two-seat gyrocopter to enable prospective customers to “familiarize [themselves] with the vehicle’s unique characteristics.”
Described by PAL-V as “a disruptive game-changer in the general and light aviation sector,” the Liberty can transition from road to air transport mode in under six minutes with its rotors secured into the vehicle. In its road configuration, the piston-twin boasts a top speed of 160 km/h (99 mph) and a maximum range of 1,315 km. In flight mode, the Liberty can reach speeds of 180 km/h, and fly journeys of up to 500 km with fuel reserves.
Launched in 2007, PAL-V (which stands for Personal Air and Land Vehicle) is an early mover in the AAM arena. The company began collaborating with the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) more than 10 years ago to help determine certification standards for what it calls “a car that turns into a light rotorcraft.”
“Working closely with EASA, PAL-V has been extracting data analysis, flight and drive tests, and test data,” it noted. The Raamsdonksveer-headquartered company added that compliance demonstrations began recently, and it is hoping to secure certification for the Rotax 912iS-powered Liberty under EASA’s CS-27 regulations in the third quarter of 2023. Customer deliveries are scheduled to follow at the end of that year.
Initial production of the Liberty will be sold to customers in the Benelux, Austria, Germany, Switzerland, and the UK, widening out to the rest of Europe, North America, and then into the Middle East and Asia, said PAL-V.
Interest in the vehicle is “evenly split,” it added, between commercial, defense, and private users. The Liberty prototype will be on display at London Oxford from September 20 to 22.