Could the age of the flying car be upon us? That's the promise of the Klein Vision Air Car, a fully operational Slovakian flying car project that recently received an official Certificate of Airworthiness from the Slovak Transport Authority.
According to Klein Vision, the AirCar with its BMW engine has completed 70 hours of "rigorous flight testing," which included over 200 takeoffs and landings. The "dual-mode car-aircraft vehicle" is now compatible with European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) standards.
As you may imagine, building a flying car is exactly as challenging as it sounds. For the AirCar, a team of eight specialists put in over 100,000 hours to convert design concepts into mathematical models. These models eventually led to a prototype powered by a 1.6-liter BMW engine.
Although the AirCar packs a Bimmer power plant, it’s far from a 5 Series sedan. This flying car can reportedly reach a maximum operating altitude of 18,000 feet. For comparison, a typical Boeing 737 can get up to around 41,000 feet without any issues.
Unlike most other flying car projects, Klein Vision has actually taken its prototype to the skies. In June, the AirCar completed a 35-minute test flight where it journeyed from Nitra to Bratislava in Slovakia. After a smooth landing, the vehicle promptly transformed into a car and drove to the city center.
From everything we've learned about the AirCar, it sounds like an innovation that could take the world by storm, but what's the catch? You'll need a pilot's license to operate this hybrid flying car. Klein Vision plans to make the AirCar commercially available within twelve months, so there's still time to learn how to fly.
After costly flying lessons, there's also the issue of acquiring the AirCar itself. Reports say it could cost anywhere between $550,000 to $1.1 million USD (around P28 million to P56 million). It will also only be initially available in Europe, where it now has clearance to fly. Don't expect the AirCar in our skies anytime soon. For now, we have airplanes and cars and nothing in between.