The ‘first’ Flying car
Flying cars still seem a long way off to most of us. While the leading automotive manufacturers have been focusing on reducing carbon emissions and developing electric vehicles, however, Dutch company PAL-V has been setting its sights a little higher. Able to carry two passengers for a distance of over 300 miles, this four-wheeled aircraft is set to launch in 2019.
The PAL-V Liberty
The car, named the PAL-V Liberty, went on display at the 2018 Geneva Motor Show, appearing among much more traditional models. Orders are being taken for it and assuming all goes to plan, deliveries are expected to be made in 2019. Proof that the model isn’t just a gimmick comes in the form of a European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) certification and an equivalent one from the US’ Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).
The PAL-V Liberty is designed to operate both as a car and an aircraft, with each mode boasting different capabilities. As a car, it has a range of 817 miles and a top speed of 99mph. As an aircraft it is able to take off carrying around 908kg of weight and reach a top speed of 112mph. Carrying just one passenger and 30 minutes of reserve fuel, the range reduces in the air to 310 miles.
Reserved for the elite
As you’d expect, this innovative model doesn’t come cheap. Owners will not only need a driving licence, they’ll also need a pilot’s licence and access to a small landing strip or airfield. In addition, they’ll need to have a cool $400,000 (just under €350,000) spare to pay for it. Needless to say that rules out the majority of us.
Hope isn’t lost for the masses, however, as it’s not the only flying car under development. Indeed, several other companies have been working on models worthy of an R&D claim. Airbus has announced the impending launch of an electric flying taxi, the CityAirbus, which can transport up to four people through crowded city environments. The first test is scheduled for the end of the year.
In addition, a more familiar manufacturer is working on a model to carry the 2020 Olympic torch. Toyota has backed the ‘SkyDrive’ flying car, dreamt up by a start-up called Cartivator.
Funding flying cars
Aircraft development is heavily regulated, particularly in the US, meaning work on flying cars is extremely expensive. In order to make a working prototype, specialist parts must be manufactured and extensive testing carried out. Start-ups developing such models, including Cartivator and the Kitty Hawk start-up, founded by Google co-founder Larry Page, are therefore looking beyond standard business grants to major investments from global companies in order to get their projects off the ground.
If your business is manufacturing parts to bring an innovative project to life, you could be entitled to claim manufacturing tax credit from the UK government. Eligibility for this depends on a number of factors; R&D Tax Solutions can confirm if your activity is eligible and assist with a claim.