A 35-minute flight between international airports in Nitra and Bratislava, Slovakia, was completed by a prototype flying car called AirCar.
AirCar is a hybrid vehicle that can morph from a sports car to an aircraft in less than three minutes.
At 6:05 a.m., Klein Vision‘s patent-protected AirCar made its 142nd successful landing in Bratislava. After landing, the aircraft converted into a sports car in under three minutes, and was driven to downtown Bratislava by its inventor, Professor Stefan Klein, and co-founder, Anton Zajac, slashing the average trip time in half.
“Professor Stefan Klein is the world leader in the development of user-friendly Flying Cars.” Boeing Co. Senior Technical Fellow Dr. Branko Sarh said. “The automated transition from road vehicle into an air vehicle and vice versa, deploying/retracting wings and tail is not only the result of pioneering enthusiasm, innovative spirit and courage; it is an outcome of excellent engineering and professional knowledge,” he continued.
The AirCar is hailed as “the lovechild of a Bugatti Veyron and a Cesna 172” by Dr. Stephen Wright, senior research fellow in avionics and aircraft at the University of the West of England.
“I have to admit that this looks really cool – but I’ve got a hundred questions about certification,” Dr. Wright said.
“Anyone can make an aeroplane but the trick is making one that flies and flies and flies for the thick end of a million hours, with a person on board, without having an incident.
“I can’t wait to see the piece of paper that says this is safe to fly and safe to sell,” he added.
The AirCar Prototype 1 has a fixed-propeller BMW engine with 160HP and a ballistic parachute. The AirCar has completed over 40 hours of test flights under the supervision of the Civil Aviation Authority, including extreme 45-degree turns and stability and maneuverability tests. AirCar Prototype 1 has flown at an altitude of 8200 feet and a maximum cruising speed of 190 km/h (103kt).
The pre-production AirCar Prototype 2 will be powered by a 300HP engine and will be certified by EASA as a CS-23 aircraft with an M1 road permit. The Prototype 2 is expected to cruise at 300km/h (162kt) and have a range of 1000km thanks to its variable pitch propeller (621mi).
AirCar can accommodate two persons with a combined weight of no more than 200kg (441 lbs).
Morgan Stanley, a consulting firm, forecasted that the flying car sector would be valued $15 trillion by 2040 two years ago. According to the report, investment in the area has ramifications for the future of passenger travel, defense uses, and consumer products transportation.
Meanwhile, the test flight on Monday turns “science fiction into a reality,” said Klein Vision.
“This flight starts a new era of dual transportation vehicles. It opens a new category of transportation and returns the freedom originally attributed to cars back to the individual.” said Professor Klein after exiting the AirCar cockpit in Bratislava.
“AirCar is no longer just a proof of concept; flying at 8,200ft at a speed of 100kt, it has turned science fiction into a reality.” Noted Anton Zajac. “With Aircar you will arrive at your destination without the hassle of getting a ride to airport and passing through commercial security. You can drive your AirCar to the golf course, the office, the mall or your hotel and park it in a normal parking space,” he added.