Soaring through the sky... in a car

The PAL-V Liberty Pioneer on display in the Marbella showroom.
The PAL-V Liberty Pioneer on display in the Marbella showroom. / SUR
  • A Marbella car showroom is selling a vehicle which can fly at up to 180 km/h

Marbella is a town in which many high end vehicles can be seen on display in showrooms, including some very exclusive models of which no more than a few hundred are produced in the world. Now, however, it is really excelling itself with its latest offer, a vehicle which travels on land and also in the air: the PAL-V Liberty Pioneer. This is the first flying car with a commercial licence in the world.

In recent years several companies have flirted with the idea of producing a hybrid vehicle capable of travelling on roads and in the air, but PAL-V is the first in the world to have achieved it. The car has a very aerodynamic design, similar to the cabin of a helicopter. At the back, on the roof and tucked away, are the propellers, which take between five and ten minutes to deploy completely. The company has a video on its YouTube channel which shows the entire process.

At present the PAL-V Liberty can be purchased from the Super Garage dealer in Puerto Banús. "They chose us because we have the most exclusive cars," says Malú Beltrán, one of the directors. These include the Ferrari LaFerrari and the Bugatti Veyron, which are worth between one million and three million euros. Any company would need a wealthy clientele in order to interest them in a model such as the PAL-V.

Its price, however, is not as exorbitant as one might think. The model which was on display at Super Garage earlier this month, the PAL-V Liberty Pioneer, costs about half a million euros. The company also has a more basic model for 300,000 euros.

During the two days it was on display in Marbella, several people expressed an interest in this flying car, including an Arab client who seems prepared to pay the half a million euros for one of these Pioneer vehicles.

Only 90 models of this version are being made, and they will be available next year.

Pilot's licence

However, having five or six zeros at the end of your bank balance is not enough to buy a PAL-V; you also need a pilot's licence. In other words, the purchaser will have to sit a theory exam, fly a certain number of practice hours and prove their knowledge of navigation, aircraft instruments and aerodynamics. Although the PAL-V has a steering wheel for use when driving on roads, when the time comes to take to the air the dashboard is a collage of buttons and measuring systems.

Both the Pioneer and the Sport model - the most economic version - have room for two occupants and three engines: one which is 100cv for the road, and two of 200cv for flying. The maximum speed is 100 km/h on land, with an autonomy of 3,500 kilometres, and 180 km/h in the air for 500 kms. With regard to height, it can fly at up to 3,500 metres, just like a real helicopter.