BMW-Powered Flying Car Receives Certification to Go From Road to Sky
Klein Vision's car-aircraft vehicle, the AirCar, has received a Certificate of Airworthiness from the Civil Aviation Division of the Transport Authority of Slovakia. The certification follows the successful completion of 70 hours of flight testing in accordance with European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) requirements.
Klein Vision has made great strides in the development of its flying car – a vehicle that, unlike other vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) aircraft designs, resembles an actual car. It took the Slovakian company 18 months to go from concept to prototype.
That translates to about 100,000 hours of work to turn design drawings into mathematical models, perform wind tunnel testing, and ultimately build a two-seat prototype that weighs 2,204 lbs (1,000 kg). The vehicle can be used both as an aircraft and as a car since its wings and tail are retractable. The AirCar had its first flight in 2020 and, last year, in June, it has successfully completed its firstinter-city flight.
Power comes from a BMW engine that can deliver an output of 160 hp. TheAircar can reach a maximum cruising speed of 190 kph (118 mph) and climb at altitudes of up to 8,200 ft (2,500 meter). To date, the Aircar recorded over 200 takeoffs and landings and has conducted several flight tests that have been closely monitored by the Transportation Authority.
During these tests, the vehicle performed various maneuvers, validating Aircar's stability. The pilot was capable of conducting the takeoff and landing procedures even without touching the flight controls.
"50 years ago, the car was the epitome of freedom," says Anton Zajac, the project cofounder. "AirCar expands those frontiers, by taking us into the next dimension; where road meets sky."
Klein Vision doesn't plan to stop here. The company has already completed the testing of a new, more powerful aviation engine. It also completed designs for a monocoque variant with a variable pitch propeller, which is expected to achieve more than 186 mph (300 kph) and have a range of 621 miles (1,000 km). Klein Vision hopes that its new production model will be able to obtain certification in a year.