The vehicle fulfilled a key development milestone in a 35-minute flight from the international airport in Nitra to the international airport in Bratislava on 28 June.
A historical event took place on June 28 as the Klein Vision flying car successfully completed the 35-minute flight between Nitra Airport and Bratislava in its native country.
The AirCar is powered by a 1.6-liter BMW engine that generates 160 horsepower with a fixed propeller and a ballistic parachute. The estimated travel range of AirCar is 1,000km and flight consumption of 18 l/h.
With this flight, the invention created by Professor Stefan Klein has now completed more than 40 hours of test flights including steep 45 degree turns and stability and maneuverability testing since its first takeoff.
The company is working on a model called AirCar Prototype 2, which will include an engine with 300 horsepower and receive the EASA CS-23 aircraft certification.
Flying cars have always captured our imagination as a society, be it popular cartoons from the 90s (read Jetsons) or any Sci-Fi movie looking to the future. Prototypes and test runs have been in order since the past few years but none have been able to complete a long-distance flight. AirCar has become the first flying car to accomplish this feat.
AirCar is a dual-mode car-aircraft vehicle that is aiming to become a production-ready vehicle. The vehicle fulfilled a key development milestone in a 35-minute flight from the international airport in Nitra to the international airport in Bratislava on 28 June.
Car transforms into aircraft in less than 3 minutes:
In less than three minutes with the push of a button, the car's wings unfolded. The AirCar can then fly at a speed of 170 km/h, within a radius of 1,000 kilometres and at an altitude of 2,500 meters.
According to the company, The estimated travel range of AirCar is 1,000km and flight consumption of 18 l/h.
The AirCar Prototype 1 is equipped with a 160HP BMW engine with a fixed-propeller and a ballistic parachute. The company claims that the AirCar has completed over 40 hours of test flights under the supervision of the local Civil Aviation Authority, including steep 45 degree turns and stability and manoeuvrability testing. AirCar Prototype 1 has flown at 8200 ft and reached a maximum cruising speed of 190km/h (103kt).
“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."
The company is working on a model called AirCar Prototype 2, which will include an engine with 300 horsepower and receive the EASA CS-23 aircraft certification with an M1 road permit. It is expected to be able to navigate at 300 km/h and have a range of 1,000 kilometers. According to its website, Klein Vision plans to develop three and four-seater AirCar models, as well as twin-engine and amphibious versions.
A 1,100kg Aircar can accommodate two people and can carry an additional load of 200kg per flight. On the ground, the wings can retract to the side, and the vehicle then regains a classic car template. Equipped with a BMW engine, it accepts conventional gasoline. It is, therefore, possible to refuel at a gas station.
There is great hope in the fledgling car market, which has long been offered in the long-term future of this type of transport.
In 2019, Consultant company Morgan Stanley predicts that such vehicles will be worth $1.5trillion by 2040. And this car is also seen as a solution to the burden on existing transportation infrastructure.