A car that can transform into a small aircraft has passed flights tests with flying colors in Slovakia, developers say. The “AirCar” has been awarded an official Certificate of Airworthiness by the Slovak Transport Authority after successfully completing more than 200 takeoffs and landings as part of 70 hours of flight testing.
The prototype AirCar, created by Slovakian company Klein Vision, made headlines around the world when it completed its first inter-city flight in the country last June, flying for 35 minutes between Nitra and Bratislava airports.
The retractable winged vehicle is equipped with a BMW engine and is capable of carrying up to two passengers at speeds of up to 118mph.
Certification was contingent on its successful completion of flight and performance manoeuvres in the air, including takeoff and landing without the pilot needing to touch the controls.
Its certification of airworthiness had “opened the door for the mass production of very efficient flying cars,” said Professor Stefan Klein, AirCar’s inventor and test pilot.
René Molnár, the director of the Civil Aviation Division (Transport Authority of Slovakia), said the vehicle defined a new category of sports car and reliable aircraft, adding that its certification has been both “challenging and fascinating”.
“The Transportation Authority carefully monitored all stages of unique AirCar development from its start in 2017,” he said.
“Transportation safety is our highest priority. AirCar combines top innovations with safety measures in line with EASA (European Aviation Safety Agency) standards.”
Klein Vision, the company behind the project, has already completed tests of a new powerful, lightweight and efficient Adept Airmotive aviation engine, and is currently working on another model with a variable pitch propeller expected to reach speeds over 300km/h and range of 1,000km.
The new production model is expected to be certified in 12 months time.
Flying vehicles are of increasing interest to car and aerospace engineers and manufacturers seeking to create greener, more efficient modes of transport.
-With inews.co.uk input