Flying cars 2018: will the flying car market ever take off?

Italdesign Airbus Pop.Up

PAL-V Liberty front

Terrafugia TF-X

The PAL-V Liberty flying car made an appearance at the 2018 Geneva Motor Show, delighting onlookers with a production ready flying car – something the Dutch firm claims is a world first.

The Liberty isn’t alone in the world, though, as various manufacturers across the globe have designed concepts in an attempt to corner the market of flying cars.

To most motorists the idea of switching congested motorways for the open skies is incredibly appealing, with many arguing that a world of flying cars would alleviate major logistical problems and congestion.

• BMW's Hover Ride Design Concept is a Lego-inspired flying bike

But could it really happen? Why hasn’t it happened already? Will you need to carry breathalyser kits and a high-vis jacket if you drift into French airspace? None of these questions have unequivocal answers, and until someone comes up with a viable solution to the flying car problem, that isn’t going to change. That being said PAL-V are closer than anyone... 

What is a flying car?

Before we go any further, do bear in mind that the term ‘flying car’ can be a little bit of a misnomer. How you name these airborne conveyances depends on each machine’s main purpose: while a car that has been adapted to fly might well be a ‘flying car’, a plane that has been modified for road use is more likely to be called a ‘roadable aircraft’. However, most of the machines you can go out and buy today fall into the latter category.

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