1. Flying car
AirCar, the duo mode car and aircraft developed by Klein Vision has received a transportation permit from the Slovak authorities, paving the way for commercial production. The flying car was granted a certification for “airworthiness” after completing more than 70 hours of test flights, including more than 200 take offs and landings. In one of the trial flights, the concept car flew during 35 minutes between two cities in Slovakia, Nitra and the capital, Bratislava.
“AirCar certification opens the door for mass production of very efficient flying cars,” reacted Stefan Klein, the inventor and test pilot. “It is official and the final confirmation of our ability to change mid-distance travel forever.”
“Fifty years ago, the car was the epitome of freedom. AirCar expands those frontiers by taking us into the next dimension, where road meets sky,” added the cofounder of the venture Anton Zajac.
2. Duo mode
After landing, the aircraft is transformed into a car and driven like a regular road vehicle. To morph back into an aircraft, the whole transformation process is entirely automated and it takes about three minutes, after the push of a button. The Aircar is equipped with a 1.6-litre BMW engine, giving it a maximum flying speed of 170 kilometres per hour. Similar to an aircraft, the vehicle needs a 300 meters long runway before its take-off. Once it is airborne, it can fly up to a distance of 1,000 kilometres.
Upon receiving certification from the Slovak authorities for the AirCar, the company can also file an application for aircraft type certifications. After these certifications are in hand, the company will be eligible for producing the vehicle commercially. However, only certified pilots will be allowed to fly the AirCar.
Klein Vision, the company which created AirCar, says the prototype took about two years to develop and cost “less than 2m euros” (£1.7m) in investment. Flying cars have long been a visionary landmark of the future and the market for them is expected to be huge. Companies in the US and the Netherlands are also developing similar types of transporting. Nonetheless, the vast majority has a helicopter-like vertical takeoff procedure and are mostly designed for short distances.
“I do believe we will see full electric or at least hybrid vehicles of this, or similar kind, in the near future, contributing to our environmental sustainability targets,” commented Kyriakos Kourousis, chairman of the Royal Aeronautical Society’s Airworthiness and Maintenance Specialist Group.