The Slovakian KleinVision AirCar has just passed its first flight tests at Nitra Airport in Slovakia, and in doing so, successfully completed the transition from ground driving mode, to flying and back again.
Weighing in at 1100kg, the AirCar is powered by a 104kW 1.6-litre BMW engine and has an estimated range of 1000km, with a maximum cruising speed of around 200km/h.
The AirCar requires a runway of just 300m to take off – where, for context, a Cessna 172 light aircraft needs almost 500m.
This fifth-generation prototype has been under development since 2016, and unlike many other ‘flying cars’, actually looks like a car.
With four wheels and a low-aero signature, the AirCar looks similar to the Oldsmobile Aerotech concept car (above) of the mid-1980s.
The driver and passenger sit side-by-side, and a four-seat version is in development.
The current maximum payload is 200kg.
Converting from drive to fly takes about three minutes, as the tail boom extends backward to allow the wings to fold up from their position along the length of the car. The wings then fold down for flight.
The AirCar was developed by Slovakian engineer, Professor Stefan Klein, who has previously worked with Volkswagen, Audi and BMW.
His experience in ‘flying cars’ dates back to 1989 when he first presented his Aeromobil design thesis.
Now the flight tests are complete, the next step is to have the airframe certified with a 224kW (300hp) engine, which Klein hopes to complete within the next six months.