A dual-mode road-air vehicle called the AirCar has completed a major development milestone at the hands of its creator Stefan Klein after completing a 35-minute flight.
Developed by Klein Vision, the successful test of the AirCar between the airports of Nitra and Bratislava in Slovakia marked the vehicle’s 142nd successful landing. Upon reaching the ground, the aircraft was then transformed into a car in less than three minutes.
“Stefan Klein is the world leader in the development of user-friendly flying cars,” commented Branko Sarh, Boeing co-senior technical fellow. “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.”
Equipped with a 162ps BMW engine with fixed-propeller and a ballistic parachute, the AirCar Prototype 1 has completed more than 40 hours of test flights under the watchful eye of the Civil Aviation Authority, having reached 8,200ft and speeds of 190km/h. During the development program the vehicle completed 45° turns to validate its stability and maneuverability.
A pre-production model, dubbed the AirCar Prototype 2, will feature a 304ps engine and receive the EASA CS-23 aircraft certification with an M1 road permit. Fitted with a variable pitch propeller, Klein Vision estimates that the Prototype 2 will have a cruising speed of 300km/h and a maximum range of 1,000km.
“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.
“AirCar is no longer just a proof of concept; flying at 8,200ft at a speed of 185km/h, it has turned science fiction into a reality,” added Anton Zajac, co-founder, Klein Vision.