In a shining example of turning science fiction into reality, AirCar, a dual-mode car-aircraft vehicle that's a patent of Slovakia-based Klein Vision, completed a 35-minute flight from the international airport in Nitra to Bratislava international airport.
After achieving this key milestone on June 28, AirCar has become the first flying car to achieve this feat. With this, it has moved closer to production as the prototype has already completed 142 successful landings so far.
"Professor Stefan Klein is the world leader in the development of user-friendly flying cars," said Dr Branko Sarh, Boeing co-senior technical fellow.
"The automated transition from a 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 added.
The AirCar Prototype 1 is equipped with a 160HP BMW engine with a fixed-propeller and a ballistic parachute. The AirCar has completed over 40 hours of test flights so far, including steep 45 degree turns and stability and manoeuvrability testing. It has flown at 8,200 ft and reached a maximum cruising speed of 190km/h (103kt).
The company says AirCar Prototype 2, the pre-production model, will be equipped with a 300HP engine and receive the EASA CS-23 aircraft certification with an M1 road permit. With its variable pitch propeller, Prototype 2 is expected to have a cruise speed of 300km/h (162kt) and a range of 1,000km (621mi).
"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 Prof Klein, after exiting the AirCar cockpit in Bratislava.
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," he added.
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