Flying car completes first inter-city flight in Slovakia
Image credit: Klein Vision
A prototype flying car has completed a 35-minute flight between airports in Nitra and Bratislava, Slovakia.
The hybrid car-aircraft, called AirCar and developed by Slovakia-based company Klein Vision, flew between the two international airports on Monday 28 June, completing its 142nd successful landing in Bratislava at 6:05am (GMT+2).
After landing, the aircraft transformed into a sports car in under three minutes. Its inventor, Professor Stefan Klein, then drove the car and co-founder of Klein Vision Anton Zajac to downtown Bratislava, cutting the typical travel time by a factor of two.
“Professor Stefan Klein is the world leader in the development of user-friendly flying cars,” said Dr Branko Sarh, a senior technical fellow at Boeing Co. “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.”
Klein Vision equipped the AirCar Prototype 1 with a 160HP BMW engine with a fixed-propeller and a ballistic parachute. Under the supervision of the Civil Aviation Authority, the AirCar has completed over 40 hours of test flights, including steep 45-degree turns and stability and manoeuvrability testing.
AirCar Prototype 1 has flown at 8,200ft and reached a maximum cruising speed of 190km/hr (103kt).
The firm will equip its pre-production model, the AirCar Prototype 2, with a 300HP engine and is set to receive the EASA CS-23 aircraft certification with an M1 road permit. With its variable pitch propeller, they expect the Prototype 2 to have a cruise speed of 300km/hr (162kt) and a range of 1,000km (621 miles).
“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 Klein after exiting the AirCar cockpit in Bratislava.
Meanwhile, Zajac said: “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.”
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