If you think of the term ‘flying car‘ what comes to mind? If it’s a car-shaped bird or a bird-shaped car then that’s not what we’re talking about and you should consider going outside and touching some grass. If it’s some sort of transformer with retractable wings and an engine as well as a propeller, then good for you.
Flying car’s propeller goes brrrr
Stefan Klein, the founder and chief executive officer of Klein Vision — a Slovakian Research and Development company — just completed what we’re sure is a world first. He drove his AirCar (we hope that name or the title of this article doesn’t spoil where this is going) to an airport in Slovakia, transformed his ‘car’, took off from the runway, flew 273km to Bratislava, then drove around for a bit.
If this isn’t an actual world first well then sorry, but it is still massively cool. Klein has been working on this flying car, or varying concepts of it, for the last 20 years. This version has already made over 140 test flights with this latest trip being the longest and most ambitious.
It’s not all sci-fi though. You won’t be seeing this AirCar transitioning seamlessly between ground and air like a modern DeLorean. That takes roughly two minutes, which to be fair is a lot fewer than you’d expect.
The petrol-fuelled AirCar is packing a BMW engine under the hood, with a fixed-propeller providing the lift. The current iteration of the AirCar has a max cruising speed of 190km/h and has reached heights of 2,5km above the ground. The next version is expected to go even faster and further on a single tank of fuel.
In a press release, Klein stated,
“This flight starts a new era of dual transportation vehicles. It opens a new category of transportation and returns the freedom originally attributed to cars back to the individual.”
Prospective owners won’t have complete freedom, they’ll still need both a driver’s and a pilots licence as well as a ton of cash (probably).