AirCar, a combined transportation vehicle that can drive and fly, took an important step earlier this week towards pioneering a new form of mobility. For the first time ever, the flying car made a flight between two cities.
The AirCar, piloted by founder Štefan Klein, took off from Nitra’s small airport and arrived at Bratislava’s international airport 35 minutes later. He covered a distance of 66 kilometers this way. In a video ( shown below), shared by the manufacturer, it is easy to see how the flight went and how the plane transforms itself into a car for two people after the flight.
Klein then drove with the car from the airport to the city center of Bratislava. According to the manufacturer’s press release, this reduced the travel time by half compared to a road trip by car.
Klein flew with the first prototype of the AirCar. This means of transportation is equipped with a 160 hp engine from BMW, a fixed propeller and a parachute. It was not AirCar’s first flight. Under the supervision of the Slovak civil aviation authorities, this means of transport has already completed more than 40 hours of test flights, including steep 45-degree turns and tests to measure stability.
The maximum altitude at which the prototype has flown during previous flights is 8200 feet. The “aerial vehicle” reached a maximum cruising speed of 190 kilometers per hour.
A second prototype is also under development. AirCar Prototype 2, as the model is called for now, will be equipped with a 300 hp engine and is expected to have a cruising speed of 300 kilometers per hour and a range of 1,000 kilometers. The intention is for the model to receive aircraft certification from the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA).
AirCar was developed by Klein Vision, a company named after its founder. According to Klein Vision’s website, Štefan Klein has spent 20 years working on the development of the vehicle. Klein graduated from the Technical University of Slovakia and was head of the Transportation and Design Department at the Academy of Fine Arts and Design in Bratislava.
Flying car competitor
With its test flight this week, Klein Vision is looking to take on the Dutch company PAL-V in Europe. This flying car already has the approval of the Netherlands Vehicle Authority . The PAL-V also meets the strict safety standards of the EASA. The first 90 models are expected to hit the market next year.
Read about the flying cars here.
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