It has been 50 years since the Jetsons first predicted we'd be flying the family about in airborne cars.
And experts say we are tantalisingly close to the dream becoming reality.
Pal-V, a two-seat hybrid car and gyrocopter, was recently voted the 'most likely to become a reality' - and today the firm behind it finally opened preorders for the vehicle.

'After years of hard work, beating the technical and qualification challenges, our team succeeded in creating an innovative flying car that complies with existing safety standards, determined by regulatory bodies around the world,' RobertDingemanse, CEO of PAL-V announced.
Following the successful test programs of their concept vehicles in 2009 and 2012, PAL-V started designing the commercial products that were launched today.
'While other flying car manufacturers' concepts require modified regulations and in many cases not yet existing technologies, PAL-V deliberately chose to engineer, design and build a flying car with proven technologies and fully compliant with existing regulations,' the firm said. 
'This leads to a first product delivery date that is realistic and imminent.' 
'Later in 2017 we will start building a preproduction series followed by the manufacturing of the first PAL-VLiberty's for our early 'pioneer' clients. 
Deliveries of road and air certificated models are scheduled by the end of 2018.
While driving, the lowered suspension and tilting 'cockpit' adds to the sports car feel, the firm says.
The two-seater vehicle converts from a three-wheeled motorcycle to a gyrocopter in 10 minutes.
It has 230hp, four-cylinder engine and reaches speeds of up 112 mph in the air or on the road.



The helicycle goes from 0 to 60 mph in under eight seconds. 
Maxim magazine recently selected PAL-V as the most likely company to deliver a 'real' flying car.
'Clearly it is impressive that a magazine with a readership of close to 9 million people would recognize the work we have done to create a flying car that actually conforms to existing regulations and is safe to fly,' said Robert Dingemanse, the firm's CEO.
He promises 'significant updates' in the next several months as the firm begins manufacturing of the PAL-V Limited Edition model.
The firm also says it is 'very advanced' in certifying the product in Europe under EASA CS 27 regulations. 
Once finalized this will allow them to certify under FAR 27 regulations on this side of the Atlantic.

The gyrocopter is designed to cruise at low altitudes (below 4,000ft) and it requires a 540ft runway for take-offs. For landing, the vehicle needs just 100 ft.
The gyrocopter is designed to cruise at low altitudes (below 4,000ft) and it requires a 540ft runway for take-offs. For landing, the vehicle needs just 100 ft.

Two-seater vehicle converts from a three-wheeled motorcycle to a gyrocopter in 10 minutes.
Two-seater vehicle converts from a three-wheeled motorcycle to a gyrocopter in 10 minutes.

The firm says its design is 'The ultimate vehicle to go wherever and whenever you want to, easily overcoming all sorts of barriers. 
'Now you can leave home and fly-drive to almost any destination! Avoid traffic jams and cross lakes, fjords, rivers or mountain ranges like an eagle. 
'Land on the other side and drive in your own vehicle to your final destination.

The Pal-V craft switches between drive and flight mode in just 10 minutes, and the Pal-V One Liberty edition will be delivered next year to the first customers. Following the successful test programs of their concept vehicles in 2009 and 2012, PAL-V started designing the commercial products that were launched today.
The Pal-V craft switches between drive and flight mode in just 10 minutes, and the Pal-V One Liberty edition will be delivered next year to the first customers. Following the successful test programs of their concept vehicles in 2009 and 2012, PAL-V started designing the commercial products that were launched today.




To drive and fly the Pal-V One, pictured, owners must have a driving license and a 
Sports Pilot Certificate. dailymail

The craft switches between drive and flight mode in just 10 minutes, and the Pal-V One Liberty edition will be delivered next year to the first customers.
The craft switches between drive and flight mode in just 10 minutes, and the Pal-V One Liberty edition will be delivered next year to the first customers.
 
It will make just 90, 25 of which have been allocated to North America. 
The firm has already flown its design several times. 

'When you have a prestigious brand like Top Gear referring to our vehicle as the world's first plausible flying car and now Maxim men's magazine giving us a thumbs up for the world's first real flying car, it means a lot,' said the firm's Vice President of Sales in North America, Mark Jennings-Bates. 
'We have recently started talking to buyers and have the first contracts in place and a lot of interest. 
'We anticipate deliveries of a certified PAL-V in North America to happen in 2018.' 
'On the ground the vehicle drives like a sports car,' said Pal-V. 'Within minutes its rotor is unfolded and its tail is extended: then it is ready to take off thanks to the advanced gyrocopter technology.'

The 27-gallon gas tank in the Pal-V One, pictured, provides a 220-mile flight range or 750 miles on the road. It is made from carbon fiber, titanium, and aluminum and weighs 1,499lbs. dailymail

'With these successful test results it is proven that it is not only possible to build a flying car but also that it can be done within existing international rules for both flying and driving.'
The Pal-V One features a 230hp, four-cylinder engine powered by petrol.
Its 27 gallon tank means pilots can fly for up to 220 miles at low altitudes - around 4,000ft - or drive for up 750 miles. 
It is made of carbon fiber, titanium, and aluminum and weighs 1,500lbs. dailymail


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