After completing 70 hours of “rigorous flight testing,” that included over 200 takeoffs and landings, the Slovak Transport Authority awarded an “official Certificate of Airworthiness” to the Klein Vision AirCar powered by a 1.6-liter BMW engine, that can transform from a road vehicle into a small aircraft.
The Klein Vision AirCar runs on “fuel sold at any gas station,” Anton Zajac, co-founder of Klein Vision, said. The vehicle can fly at a maximum operating altitude of 18,000 feet, he added. It takes two minutes and 15 seconds to transform from car into aircraft. The wings and tail fold away automatically for road driving.
A spokesperson for Klein Vision also said that a pilot’s license is required to fly the hybrid vehicle. He has expressed hopes of having the AirCar commercially available within 12 months. In June, the flying car completed a 35-minute test flight between airports in Nitra and the capital Bratislava in Slovakia. After landing, the aircraft converted into a car and was driven to the city center.
“AirCar certification opens the door for mass production of very efficient flying cars. It is official and the final confirmation of our ability to change mid-distance travel forever,” the AirCar’s inventor Stefan Klein said.
BMW started as an aircraft engine producer, but after WWI Germany was forbidden to make airplanes or engines for them (for five years). So, the company switched to making motorcycles and cars. In 1924 they resumed the production of aircraft engines, and ultimately stopped in 1945. The iconic logo with the four colored quadrants represents a spinning airplane propeller.
Harry Johnson has been the assignment editor for eTurboNews for almost 20 years. He lives in Honolulu, Hawaii, and is originally from Europe. He enjoys writing and covering the news.