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Flying cars take off on French Riviera

April 21, 2017

MONACO: Flying cars might seem like the stuff of science fiction, but two prototypes were launched on Thursday on the French Riviera, at an event showcasing “supercars” in Monaco.

Dutch and Slovak companies unveiled their designs in the tiny well-heeled principality, where luxury automakers have gathered until Sunday for the Top Marques showcase event.

Bratislava-based Aeromobil, whose first prototype presented two years ago suffered an accident, is back with a “new generation” of flying vehicle named after the firm which makes it. “We are taking reservations from today for deliveries expected in 2020, after the process of [regulatory] approvals is completed,” said the Slovak firm’s spokesman, Stefan Vadocz.

The Aeromobil vehicle, six metres long and with a fully-deployed span of nine metres, is a normal four-wheeled car which can unfold its wings to transform itself into a plane able to fly two passengers at a cruising speed of 260 km/h for up to 750 kilometres. The price? Between 1.2 and 1.5 million euros, depending on options chosen.

Its Dutch rival for the futuristic vehicle type, the Pal-V Liberty, is the brainchild of Robert Dingemanse, whose company is based near Breda in the south of the Netherlands.

His crossover car-plane is more compact, at four metres long, and should be deliverable as early as next year, once official approvals are secured. He is already taking orders for a vehicle which will cost between 299,000 and 499,000 euros. Users of the the Aeromobil and the Pal-V Liberty will require both a driving licence and a pilot’s qualification.

Published in Dawn, April 21st, 2017