The appearance of cars capable of sustained flight was predicted by Henry Ford as early as 1940, and nine years later Aerocar, a prototype designed and built by Molt Taylor made its first successful flight. It was followed by a slew of different helicopter-like and VTOL aircraft intended to replace cars in the future, but none of them ever went into mass production, The only cars seen flying were those featured in action movie stunts.

But this may change soon. As reported by Dezeen, Pal-V, Dutch aircraft manufacturer demonstrated last week at the Geneva Motor Show a Flying Car that takes less than ten minutes to convert from drive to flight mode.

The triple-wheel Pal-V Liberty is marketed as the world's first flying car production model. The company describes it as "a car that flies" and "a plane that drives." The road-legal aircraft is already certified to fly by both the US Federal Aviation Administration and the European Aviation Safety Agency.

Sports car like hybrid helicopter available to buy

Unlike the recently revealed electric self-piloting air taxi made for Uber by Bell Helicopter, Liberty is a three-wheeled autogyro helicopter-like hybrid vehicle. The sleek carbon-fibre built roadster can reach a maximum driving speed of 160 km/h in nine seconds, and a maximum speed of 180 km/h in the flying mode.

The car-aircraft features retractable rotor blades and double rudder tail.

Like most sports cars of comparable size, it is a two-seater accommodating only a driver with one passenger. Not larger than a small car, the one-ton vehicle is outfitted with a tilting suspension and has two separate engines, one for flight and one for the road. Just like with any light aircraft, its driver would still need a pilot’s license to take it off the ground.

Flying car priced cheaper than sports supercar

At present, Pal-V offers two versions of their flying car: the Pioneer version with its “unique” interior and exterior, and the sport edition. According to The Verge, the former of two versions is manufactured in a limited batch of 90 and is available for purchase for €499,000 (approximately £444,000), well below the current retail price of a new limited series sports supercar like Koenigsegg Agera, McLaren Senna or Bugatti Veyron.

The PAL-V Liberty Sport models are yet to enter full-scale production. This sports version will offer less personalisation of features like carbon-fibre detailing and dual controls, but will hit the market with a lower price tag of €299,000 (around £265,000). The pioneering vehicle is claimed to be cheaper to own and operate than a standard helicopter, as the aircraft with its tail and blades folded could be parked in a conventional garage, thus eliminating need for costly hangar space.