The flying cars presented in science fiction films such as "The Fifth Element" or "Back to the Future" have always fascinated people. Projects of such vehicles have emerged over the years throughout the world, but the flying car hasn't been launched yet. A Dutch company hopes to outrun its competitors by selling the first model of a flying car from 2018, according to

The first flying car might take off soon

After several years of testing, the PAL-V company, based in Raamsdonksveer, a town near Breda, is preparing to start the production of a gyrocopter with two seats and three wheels certified to travel both on the road and in the air.

The Dutch company is planning to start the production of this flying car in October and they hope to sell this vehicle to the first customer before the end of the year 2018.

The PAL-V is not the only company who wants to launch this kind of vehicle. Many types of flying cars are currently being developed in many countries.

Performing flying car

The flying car developed by the company PAL-V is equipped with an engine with unleaded petrol which develops 100 horsepower. The vehicle is capable of flying between 400 and 500 kilometers at a maximum altitude of 2,500 meters. On the road, it can reach a maximum speed of 170 kilometers per hour. Both a driver's license and a pilot's airplane license is required for this kind of vehicle.

The name of the company PAL-V comes "Personal Air and Land Vehicle". The company was founded in 2007 and one of the founders is a pilot.

First, they wanted to build a gyrocopter that can be driven on the roads. But the company understood that the weight and the length of the propellers gave the vehicle a very high center of gravity, especially during turns.

The engineers have revised their plans: by pressing a button, the propellers fold and lie behind the vehicle, just like the wings of a bat

The company explained that PAL-V is not a helicopter, a vehicle whose propeller rotates thanks to an engine, but a gyrocopter — a vehicle that uses the wind to spin its propellers.

The Dutch company wants to produce between 50 and 100 such vehicles in 2019 before reaching a few hundred in 2020.

How much will a flying car cost?

Such a vehicle will be very expensive: the first model to come out of the production line, a luxury model called PAL-V Liberty costs 499,000 Euros. Then, a less luxurious PAL-V Liberty Sports model will be launched and this model will be sold for 299,000 Euros. The marketing director of the company said the new vehicle it's no more expensive than a super sports car with all the options included.