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The World's First Commercial Flying Cars Could Soon Take Off
Dutch firm aims to deliver first flying car in 2018 (CCSS Level: Grade 7, Words: 387)
Dec 19, 2017 Science & Technology
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A cross-breed vehicle somewhere between a car and a helicopter has been designed by Dutch company, and the PAL-V company aims to pip its competitors to the post. It's posted to start production on what they bill as a world first: a three-wheeled gyrocopter-type vehicle which certified for use on the roads and in the skies.

"This kind of dream has been around for 100 years now. When the first airplane was invented people already thought 'How can I make it drivable on the road'?" chief marketing officer Markus Hess said.

Liberty is a gyroplane, which like a helicopter has large horizontal rotor blades but the difference is that these rotors are powered by the wind. The forward motion comes from a propeller at the back of the vehicle, which is equipped with two 100 horses engines - the additional one there for safety.

In the air, Liberty can fly up to 180kmh and 160kmh on the road. It takes 10 minutes to switch from driving to flying mode and, in the air, Liberty can fly for 500km from a full tank. The cockpit can only take two people including the pilot, but a family model could be the next technology challenge.

The PAL-V (Personal Air and Land Vehicle) firm, based in Raamsdonksveer in the Netherlands, is aiming to deliver its first flying car to its first customer by the end of 2018. "Fly over mountains, rivers, lakes and traffic jams and drive on. Play more, get more things done and enjoy the ride at the same time," the company says on its website.

The lucky owner will need both a driving license and a pilot's license. But with the keys in hand, the owner will be able to go to an airfield for the short take-off, and after landing elsewhere drive to the destination for a "door-to-door" experience.

The basic model will on go sale for $400,000 (£319,000) but the "Pioneer" edition, which will be the first model on the market will be nearer to $600,000 (£478,000).

Different versions of a flying car are being developed in the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Japan, China and United States. But final assembly on the PAL-V will soon start, with the company seeking to be the first to go into commercial production.

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aid

help


n,v.援助

ba-sic

simple, beginner level


adj.基本

chal-lenge

a call to take part in a contest


n.挑战

com-mer-cial

making money


adj.商业的    

com-pe-ti-tor

a rival, someone in competition


n.竞争者

cus-tom

made specially for a particular person


n.习俗

de-li-ver

bring and hand over goods


v.交付

de-signed

do or plan something for a reason


v.设计/计划

des-ti-na-tion

the place to which someone or something is going or being sent


n.目的地/终点

de-ve-loped

cause something to grow or go into production    


v.研发

dif-fer-rent

not the same


adj.不同

e-quipped

supplied with the necessary items for a particular purpose


v.装备

ex-pe-ri-ence

come into contact with


v.经验

gy-ro-cop-ter

a small, light single-seater aaircraft that flies with unpowered blades


n.旋翼机

gy-ro-plane

an autogiro or similar aircraft that flies with unpowered blades


n.旋翼机

he-li-cop-ter

an aircraft with horizontal blades to give lift


n.直升机

ho-ri-zon

the line where the earth and sky appear to meet


n.地平线

in-clu-ding

containing, having as part of the whole


prep.包含

lice

small, wingless, parasitic insects that live on the skin of mammals and birds


n.虱子

liv-er

the largest organ in the body, which breaks down and detoxifies substances


n.肝

mar-ket

to sell / an area of business, the place where things are sold


v.n,销路/市场

tech-no-lo-gy

machinery developed from scientific knowledge


n.技术

ver-sion

which kind of a thing


n.版本