Aircraft

Klein Vision's transforming AirCar makes first inter-city flight

Klein Vision's transforming Ai...
Should the AirCar go into production, pilots will be able to hop between city airports, land on the runway and then drive to their final destination – all using the same vehicle
Should the AirCar go into production, pilots will be able to hop between city airports, land on the runway and then drive to their final destination – all using the same vehicle
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Klein Vision's Anton Zajac (left) and Professor Stefan Klein (right) with the transforming AirCar prototype
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Klein Vision's Anton Zajac (left) and Professor Stefan Klein (right) with the transforming AirCar prototype
Should the AirCar go into production, pilots will be able to hop between city airports, land on the runway and then drive to their final destination – all using the same vehicle
2/2
Should the AirCar go into production, pilots will be able to hop between city airports, land on the runway and then drive to their final destination – all using the same vehicle

After taking to the air for the first time just last year, Klein Vision's AirCar has now aced its first inter-city flight. The aircraft/road vehicle hybrid took off from Nitra airport early on June 28, landing in Bratislava a little over half an hour later, and then heading into the Slovakian capital by road.

As we mentioned back in December of last year, the AirCar is being developed by the original inventor and designer of the Aeromobil flying car, Professor Stefan Klein – under his own company, Klein Vision.

On the ground, it has the look of a Le Mans sportscar, but at the push of a button the tail extends out back and the wings rise up and out to make it ready for take off. All of this takes under three minutes and is mesmerizing to watch, as you can see in the video at the end.

It's already notched up more than 40 hours of flight time under the supervision of the Civil Aviation Authority, including rising to 2,500 m (8,200 ft), achieving a maximum cruising speed of 190 km/h (118 mph), undertaking 45-degree turns, and going through stability and maneuverability testing.

Klein Vision's Anton Zajac (left) and Professor Stefan Klein (right) with the transforming AirCar prototype
Klein Vision's Anton Zajac (left) and Professor Stefan Klein (right) with the transforming AirCar prototype

The current prototype makes use of "advanced composite materials" for its construction, features a 160-hp BMW engine, rocks a fixed propeller to the rear, and comes with a ballistic parachute in case something goes wrong. No other details have been shared at this stage.

For its first inter-city flight, the AirCar took to the skies from an airfield in Nitra, flew for 35 minutes to Bratislava International Airport to make its 142nd successful landing, and was then transformed into driving mode for a trip to downtown Bratislava.

"This flight starts a new era of dual transportation vehicles," said Professor Klein. "It opens a new category of transportation and returns the freedom originally attributed to cars back to the individual." Company co-founder Anton Zajac added, "AirCar is no longer just a proof of concept; flying at 8,200 feet at a speed of 100 knots, it has turned science fiction into a reality."

The company has also revealed a few scant details on the upcoming pre-production prototype, too. It will be equipped with a 300-hp engine, feature a variable-pitch prop, boast a cruise speed of 300 km/h (186.4 mph), and will have a range of 1,000 km (621 miles). Prototype 2 is expected to receive EASA CS-23 aircraft certification and a M1 road permit.

You can see highlights of the inter-city flight in the video below.

The flying car completes first ever inter-city flight (Official Video)

Source: Klein Vision

9 comments
9 comments
Zerozen
Wow! they nail it. its just a 1st generation, but other iterations of this idea are on the market. But this one got my attention with its emergency parachute.

Now shut up and take my money!
Arcticshade
Though it sure looks nice, it's going to be another case of not a good flier, nor a good rider.
dan
@ Arcticshade: You miss the point: You can pay twice as much as if you had bought an excellent car AND a fancy plane. So having this - beside no practical use for most - you can show off with a new toy. Good cars aren't good at flying or swimming... But from an engineering point of view it is nicely merged!
aki009
I'm sure they'll keep making it better, but there's just so much more distance this thing needs to go. I'd be positively surprised if they'll be able to continue to rustle up enough funding to make this almost-car/almost-airplane combination appealing enough for those who might find some real use for it.
Jason Catterall
But why?
Aermaco
It is one of the best looking versions of a viable geometry Car/plane. The engineering may be elegant but in a final analysis it is not an efficient machine with so much weight just to transform.
Adrian Akau
It is not worth the risk to drive this vehicle on the road. Any small accident or collision would cost a mint to repair and the insurance rates would be very high.
MQ
The vision is fantastic... We all want a Jetsons flying car..

(I am a function over form person - I keep planes in the air or a hangar and cars on the road and in the garage.)
There will always be a downside... History points these things out...
In 2015 we saw that planes don't crash well hopefully they sorted that out...
MattII
So what you have here is a 2-seat 'car' that needs a pilot's licence to actually get used for what it's worth? This will be nothing more than a rich man's toy, if it ever gets produced at all.