Thoughts on the PAL-V Flying Car

Flying cars have always been a popular idea used in science fiction. As children, we were inspired by the possibility of a future in which we would drive flying cars. The anticipation might soon be paying off, because a Dutch manufacturer is making this fictitious future a reality.

Recently, there’s been discussion about the pros and cons of sidewalk robots in Arizona as well as the Dutch automotive/aviation company PAL-V, releasing the first ever flying car. This automo-plane has the ability to fly and the ability to drive. Their website says it best: “A car that flies. A plane that drives,” because that is literally what it is. This vehicle has made a historic achievement by becoming the first ever, legitimate flying car…

… and we have some thoughts. You can purchase the first ever, working, flying car model from the PAL-V website, and they’ll ship it to you sometime in 2019. Your finger is probably hovering over that “buy now” button, so, before you invest, we’re discovering what the hype is all about. Here are our thoughts on the PAL-V Liberty Model.

Prepare for lift-off or prepare for trade-off

The idea of choosing to fly is thrilling. However, that doesn’t mean you can take off whenever you want. There are strict guidelines on where you can and cannot lift off from the road. For example, you need at least 900 feet for an advised take off, and the landing strip can be significantly shorter. PAL-V even recommends turning your backyard into a runway.

License to drive or a license to fly

Because the PAL-V is a car and a plane, figuring out what kind of license you need can be confusing. Should you pass a driver’s ed course to drive on the road or a flyer’s ed course to drive in the sky? The answer: both. To operate the PAL-V Liberty, you will need a driver’s license and a pilot’s license. So, forget about a defensive driving course, you’ll need to enroll in a defensive flying course.

Planes aren’t known for comfortability

When you think of planes, you’re reminded of the cramped seating room, loud patrons, and salty snacks. At least that’s what it’s like in economy seating. The engineers and designers behind the PAL-V Liberty designed the interior to seat 2-people, embedded with Italian leather, and cushiony seating to help you forget about economy class. Then again, if you can afford a PAL-V Liberty, chances are you’ve never flown economy.

Wait – isn’t taking care of a plane a big responsibility?

Maintaining the upkeep for your personal plane is a lot of responsibility. You must consider flight hours, fuel, insurance, and maintenance to ensure you won’t break a propeller mid-flight. On their website, you can visit their recommended insurance companies. You’ll also have to consider routine maintenance every 100 hours of flight. But, best of all, your $399,000 car plane will be even more affordable, because it takes regular gasoline. That’s cheaper fuel than your average Ford diesel truck.

Will I finally get to reenact the scene from the film Fly Away Home where Amy and her father fly with the geese into the sunset, while crying, because it’s magical?

No. No you will not. Strict air regulations and PAL-V design means you will endanger the geese and your car. Colliding with objects is a very serious concern with inexperienced pilots. Therefore, drones, other airborne PAL-Vs, and, especially, geese become hazards when in the air. You fly at your own risk.