A prototype flying car has carried out a successful test flight between two airports in Slovakia, bringing the world’s drivers one step closer to the skies.
Of all futuristic, fictitious inventions in sci-fi movies and literature, flying cars are among the most popular. In recent years, companies across the globe have been racing to get their vehicles off the ground and into the clouds. Currently, it’s estimated they’ll be available in some form by 2023.
One such option is the AirCar, created by Professor Stefan Klein of Klein Vision. With the success of its inaugural flight between Nitra and Bratislava’s airports, more than 30 years of development are finally paying off.
The AirCar, running on a petrol BMW engine, isn’t like other flying car concepts, which are often eVTOL-based (taking off and landing seamlessly, like a harrier jet). It’s far more similar to the AeroMobil, requiring a runway to take off and transform into a plane – a process which only takes two minutes and 15 seconds.
The test flight took 35 minutes, reaching a cruising speed of 170kmph, just 20kmph shy of its maximum. It’s one of 142 successful landings, as per engadget, with more than 40 hours of test flights carried out by Klein. The AirCar is capable of flying 8,200ft high for distances of around 1,000km.
While the flying car sector ‘boom’ is highly anticipated by industry experts, there’s still a long road ahead, mainly due to the hesitance of aviation regulators. However, with the Federal Aviation Authority granting a legal certificate to Terrafugia’s roadable airplane in the US, we’re not a million miles away from a Blade Runner skyline.