PAL-V Finalizes Flying Car Certification Basis With EASA

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Flying car company PAL-V has announced that it has completed the full certification basis for its Liberty roadable aircraft with the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA). According to the company, a list of more than 1,500 criteria based on EASA’s Certification Specifications for Small Rotorcraft (CS-27) was amended to make it applicable to the Liberty. PAL-V has previously stated that it hopes to complete EASA certification of the aircraft by the end of 2022.

“The development of the requirements started in 2009,” said PAL-V head of airworthiness Cees Borsboom. “More than 10 years of analysis, test data, flight tests, and drive tests, led to this important milestone. In parallel, we already started compliance demonstration to obtain the type certificate, which will be followed by delivery of vehicles to our customers.”

The two-seat PAL-V Liberty roadable gyroplane has a maximum speed of 180 km/h (97 knots), useful load of 246 kilograms (542 pounds) and range of 500 kilometers (270 NM) in the air. On the ground, the Rotax 912iS-powered vehicle can travel at 160 km/h (100 MPH) with a range of 1,315 kilometers (817 miles). As previously reported by AVweb, the Liberty design passed its European road admission tests last October.

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19 COMMENTS

  1. Congratulation’s on achieving a type certificate for this roadable autogiro. Only took 12 years for EASA approval through 1500 different criteria of certification amendments. Apparently, PAL-V had enough financial backing to survive 12 years of certification evolution to come to an EASA consensus of rule-making. Now, it will be interesting to see if they have the financial where-with-all for production and delivery of their autogiro. If they accomplish production start up and deliveries result, it equally interesting if they can make any money. I wish them well in their quest for success.

    It will demonstrate how much of a market really exists for a roadable flying machine and how the EASA has solved the regulatory issues regarding transforming one’s roadable machine into a flying machine. Somehow, I can see some complaints arising when one wants to unfold those long blades prior to a launch from the proverbial suburban street. Plus, it will demonstrate the amount of real estate needed to fly any V-TOL/E-TOL/Urban mobility rotary, wingy thing, or in this case an autogiro in an average suburban or urban environment. I hope they sell a ton of these things in Europe so we in the US can have a real world demonstration of what GA will look like when Biff and Muffy have a chance to fly from home.

  2. I think this is a very “niche” market. There is no room in any city for these to take off or land. Perhaps they might be able to fly in some rural areas, but why bother? With a maximum speed of 97 knots, less headwinds, their ground speed will be comparable to almost any car…that costs a fraction of the cost…is more accessible, is basically all-weather, has none of the risks of an airborne vehicle, and requires a simple driver’s license.

    • I can think of many places with terrian where it is a 3-4 hour drive but a 30 min hop in a small aircraft. Even in a conjested area like NE you could fly airport to airport then the drive home in your aircraft and beat the traffic.

    • Backing into some numbers from information on their web site, it looks like they plan 31 mpg on the road and will carry ~26 gallons of fuel. That does give it that kind of range.
      I don’t think there is any significant market for such a vehicle, as cool as it is, but at least the road range might be correct.

  3. I also cannot see the use-case, though it is a beautiful thing and an engineering achievement. I have flown an Autogyro only once (a Calidus) and was surprised at the length of the take-off roll. I have since watched plenty of video and this appears typical, so I doubt the Pal-V is much better. As others have commented, there isn’t going to be an opportunity to take-off in a City. I live in rural UK – and the roads are narrow, tree-lined and rarely straight. Surrounding fields are almost never flat or even. However, as we all know, the Autogyro landing roll can be very short. So maybe the use-case is to depart from an airfield and land near to your destination. However, you’ll be greeted by the police if you were to land on a road anywhere in Europe. The other application is to drive your aircraft to and from the airport. There is an advantage to that, but there are problems too – you cannot get a vehicle to (or from) airside at anything other than a small grass field – and you risk damaging an expensive airframe on the road, the roads in the UK being notoriously bad for FOD and potholes. I’d still like to have one though!

  4. So much sarcasm and cynicism… future generations will benefit from efforts like these.
    Someone here compared it to the benefits of a car and obviously completely misses the point, as this *is* a car – just one that can also fly (it would have helped if Avweb had included a pic of what it looks like when it’s in car mode where it has a footprint of a stationwagon with a ski box on top; a simple web search does the trick).

  5. Yes, it’s a niche vehicle. So are all high end sports cars.
    No, it’s not meant to take off on city streets.
    Yes, it is cool.
    No, it’s still not quite legal.
    Yes, it’s not legal because the rules were made in the normal fashion without thought to things that might come in the future.

    Some people will be it just because. Others will have a real use for its capabilities. If you cannot think of how the benefits might be worth it, that doesn’t mean others cannot.

    The people involved are spending their time and money to bring this thing to market. Why do people constantly have to attack them? They are not hurting you. It doesn’t benefit you at all to be so negative. Shame on you.

    • The benefits are obvious and the physics are from the 50’s.

      “Rules” for new production cars are crazy complicated. “Rules” for new production airplanes are crazy complicated. You cannot make a new transportation product today that ignores millions is safety rules that everyone else has to meet. Sorry.