The talk of flying cars is one that has dominated most tech conversations, with some claiming it is an unachievable dream. But wait, if you had told our great, great, great grandparents that we would soon be flying like the birds of the air, they would have laughed you off as an insane skeptic yet we now have aero planes, jets, helicopters… name them all.
Flying cars advocators seem to be driven by the same enthusiasm that drove the aero planes pioneers. And one such enthusiast is PLA-V, a Dutch company.
PAL-V has now placed on sell what it calls “the first certified commercial flying car ever.” The three-wheeled ‘car’ has a retractable top-mounted rotor, making it more like a motor trike with gyrocopter skills than a car, per se.
The latest member in the tech world can do both drive and fly – a capability that lacks in most cars and aircrafts. PAL-V is excited to see you own one, not freely of course, but at $400,000. If you need it then be ready to wait a little bit longer for the delivery to reach you. The base model costs the said price excluding taxes.
When fully assembled and the taxes included, be ready to bid goodbye to $600,000 for the pioneer model that comes packed with power heating, at-home training, an electronic flight instrument and fancy detailing.
Is the price too high?
Do you feel the company is asking for too much? Well, relax because you need not pay that entire amount upfront. PAL-V is accepting a deposit of $10,000 for the base model Sport or $25,000 for the top trim pioneer. Either of this is non-refundable. But again if that money is too rich for you, then just pay a refundable escrow worth $2, 500 and you will be included on the waiting list.
The full delivery should happen at the end of 2018.
What is the significance of the waiting list? The company expects that once the flying cars are ready for the market, there would be a sell-out run in the earlier group.
But PAL-V is including specs that may as well fail to convince you to buy. There will be the requirement for a take-off speed, meaning to get into the sky, you must use an airfield. The top ground speed is 100 mph in addition to 817 miles driving distance on a full tank with fuel efficiency of 31mpg.
Then again you must be ready to refuel the flying car after every 310 miles. This is enough to allow you jump from airfield to airfield between cities and towns.
PAL-V’s technology didn’t just emerge from the blue moon. The company has been carrying out the tests since 2009 and even established the first North American flying car school in the U.S. in Utah last year.