Transforming AirCar certified to fly by Slovak Civil Aviation Authority
Following its maiden flight toward the end of 2020, and flying city-to-city for the first time in June of last year, Klein Vision's AirCar flying car has now been granted a Certificate of Airworthiness by the Slovak Transport Authority.
Way back in the mists of 2016, Professor Stefan Klein parted ways from a Slovak air mobility company called Aeromobil to work on his own flying car. An eight-strong team has since notched up some 100,000 man-hours to take design drawings into computer models and on to working prototypes.
The AirCar has now clocked up more than 70 hours of test flights to European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) standards, including 200 takeoffs and landings on cross-country jaunts, on its way to being awarded the Certificate of Airworthiness.
"Transportation Authority carefully monitored all stages of unique AirCar development from its start in 2017," said René Molnár, director of the Civil Aviation Division of the Transport Authority of Slovakia. "The transportation safety is our highest priority. AirCar combines top innovations with safety measures in line with EASA standards. It defines a new category of a sports car and a reliable aircraft. Its certification was both a challenging and fascinating task."
"The Certificate of Airworthiness is an official certificate issued in compliance with all EASA regulations for its member states," the company's cofounder, Anton Zajac, told us. "Each member state appoints local authority to issue certificates valid across the member countries. Hence, Aircar could fly into the UK and we do have plans to fly to London from Paris in near future.
"It is CoA in experimental category. We are, however, going to apply for EASA CS-23; The entire research and development has been done to comply with EASA standards. CS-23 will require production of three units, since they will be destroyed in the certification process – hence, CS-23 is order of magnitude more costly."
Looking like a LeMans racecar, the two-seat AirCar prototype features a 140-hp 1.6-liter four-cylinder BMW combustion engine that drives both the fixed propeller when in flight and the wheels when on the road. It has a take-off speed of 115 km/h (71.5 mph), a cruising speed is 180 km (112 mph) at 2,800 rpm, and is capable of road speeds of more than 160 km/h (99.4 mph).
At the press of a button the vehicle transforms from aircraft mode to road mode in around two minutes – automatically folding the wings and raising them up before tucking them inside the composite body and drawing in the tail section.
"AirCar certification opens the door for mass production of very efficient flying cars," said the brains behind the vehicle's design and development, and the AirCar's test pilot, Professor Stefan Klein. "It is official and the final confirmation of our ability to change mid-distance travel forever."
Klein Vision is currently testing a lightweight-but-powerful engine from Adept Airmotive that's destined to power a new monocoque AirCar with variable-pitch prop that's expected to "reach speeds of over 300 km/h [186 mph] and range of 1,000 km [~620 miles]." The company anticipates this production vehicle to gain certification within 12 months.
The video below shows test flight footage.
Source: Klein Vision