Since the opening scene of The Fifth Element debuted back in 1997 (and presumably much earlier), sci-fi nerds and automotive aficionados have shared one common desire – to see a fully functional, efficient and practical flying car take to the skies. It’s been a long time coming, and while many have tried to varying degrees of success, Klein Vision may have just opened a new realm of possibility. The automotive development firm helmed by Professor Stefan Klein and Anton Zajac has just confirmed its futuristic flying car has been given the green light. Science fiction no more, the reality of personalised air and road travel looks closer than ever.
Appearing vastly different from the eVOTL releases that have dominated the airwaves recently, the aptly named AirCar looks more like a supercar with wings than a personalised flying vehicle. In a new video published to YouTube, Klein Vision announced that after completing 70 hours of rigorous testing, the project had been awarded an official Certificate of Airworthiness by the Slovak Transport Authority.
According to the company, the hybrid vehicle successfully completed more than 200 takeoffs and landings in line with the European Aviation Safety Agency standards. The culmination of over 100,000 manhours from eight skilled specialists to convert design drawings into a prototype, the result ushers in a new future for personalised flying. What started as an electric 15KW engine became a 1000kg 2-seat dual-mode prototype, powered by 1.6L BMW engine.
“AirCar certification opens the door for mass production of very efficient flying cars. It is official and the final confirmation of our ability to change mid-distance travel forever,” Professor Stefan Klein said. “50 years ago, the car was the epitome of freedom,” says Anton Zajac, the project co-founder. “AirCar expands those frontiers, by taking us into the next dimension; where road meets sky.”
What’s really impressive is just how mobile the AirCar really is. According to Klein Vision, the two-seater can transform from a sports car into an aircraft in under three minutes, a feat first demonstrated last June. In a test flight, Klein took a 35-minute journey between Slovakia’s Nitra and Bratislava airports before landing safely, retracting the wings and driving into the city centre. Now with official certification sorted, Klein Vision’s AirCar is one step closer to actually hitting the road, and, coincidentally, the sky.