SkyAngels Air Ambulance, an emergency medical flight service provider based in the UK, has partnered with the Dutch “flying car” manufacturer PAL-V International to explore uses for the fly-and-drive vehicle in emergency response operations.
Dutch company PAL-V has been developing a flying car since 2008. It tested its "proof of concept" PAL-V One for driving in 2008/2009 and for flying and driving in 2011/2012, showing the technical feasibility and certifiability "within the existing regulatory framework."
It has since developed its production facility to build the company's first product, the PAL-V Liberty.
The company has introduced a Pioneer Edition of the Liberty Sport with only 90 being available, and these will represent the first deliveries. Beyond that, the Liberty Sport will be the standard model
The company says the order book is growing and in mid-February 2020 the PAL-V started a European Road Admission program, which the company described as "a major milestone towards the start of delivery."
Meanwhile, it said the aviation certification "has reached the final stage" with a compliance demonstration. It believes flying will start in urban environments with flights over cities in 8-12 years from now.
CEO and co-founder Robert Dingemanse stated, "We will take our cars to the sky in 2021 and the PAL-V Liberty can be seen on the roads in the upcoming months. However, before we see air-taxis in the urban environment we still have to wait another ten years, because of the many challenges like regulations, infrastructure, technology, noise, safety, city turbulence, and social acceptance."
Flying the PAL-V is like flying a gyroplane – "easy and safe," said PAL-V. "If you consider that a gyroplane cannot stall and practically floats in the air, your flying experience will be relaxed and highly addictive. After approximately 30 to 40 training hours you will be ready to get your pilot license."
The company is using the syllabus (so-called Gyropedia) of the Phil Harwood, who created the Gyrocopter Experience for flight instruction. "We [will] implement this flight training system at all our flight schools worldwide," it added.
In February of 2021, Pal-V noted the EASA's Special Condition publication earlier this month gives the Liberty flying car a clear path into market. The EASA's publication outlines certification standards for gyroplanes with a maximum takeoff weight not exceeding 2,200 pounds to be approved under existing CS-27 rules for rotorcraft. Pal-V hopes that the Liberty aircraft, which applied for type certification through the EASA, will achieve approval before the end of 2022.