Bratislava, Slovakia – The future of transportation may well be written in Slovakia.
Slovak flying car ready for take-off
Earlier this week, the so-called “AirCar”, a made-in-Slovakia car that can transform into a small aircraft, received a Certificate of Airworthiness by the Slovak Transport Authority, getting the official OK for take-off.
The approval stamp comes after the flying car completed 70 hours of flight testing and over 200 takeoffs and landings compatible with European Aviation Safety Agency requirements, Klein Vision, the company behind the futuristic vehicle, announced in a statement.
“AirCar certification opens the door for mass production of very efficient flying cars,” enthusiastically reacted Stefan Klein, the inventor and test pilot. “It is official and the final confirmation of our ability to change mid-distance travel forever.”
“Fifty years ago, the car was the epitome of freedom. AirCar expands those frontiers by taking us into the next dimension, where road meets sky,” added the cofounder of the venture Anton Zajac.
A pilot license is required to fly the hybrid vehicle, which can go beyond 8,000 feet (2,500 meters). Developers hope to put it on the market for commercial distribution within the next 12 months.
“Where road meets sky”
The Slovakia-made flying car, equipped with a BMW engine and with a 170 km/h cruising speed in the air, has already been making headlines for months.
Last summer, it completed a 35-minute test flight between the airports of Nitra and Bratislava. After landing in the Slovak capital, it reverted to a car driven through the city center.
Similar types of transportation are being developed elsewhere, as CNN reminds, including by companies in the US and the Netherlands. Most of them, however, have a helicopter-like vertical takeoff procedure, and are mostly designed for short distances.
“I do believe we will see full electric or at least hybrid vehicles of this, or similar kind, in the near future, contributing to our environmental sustainability targets,” commented Kyriakos Kourousis, chairman of the Royal Aeronautical Society’s Airworthiness and Maintenance Specialist Group.
The company is planning a test flight between Paris and London in the near future, according to the BBC.