Flying cars are becoming a reality.
The Slovak transport has given an airworthiness certificate to Klein Vision’s AirCar, a dual-mode, car-aircraft vehicle, after 200 takeoffs and landings and 70 hours of rigorous testing according to the European Aviation Safety Agency standards.
AirCar, a hybrid car-aircraft, is powered by a BMW engine and runs on ordinary gasoline. It is capable of reaching speeds of more than 100 mph (160 km/h) and altitudes of more than 8,000 feet (2,500 meters).
Flying cars are small planes that takes off and lands like regular planes and require a pilot’s license to operate. The vehicle provides stability and control, allowing even the most inexperienced pilots to fly confidently without the need for additional training.
The vehicle transitions from airplane to road mode in around two minutes at the touch of a button, autonomously folding and elevating the wings before tucking them within the composite body and drawing in the tail portion. The transition from automobile to plane takes two minutes and fifteen seconds.
In June 2021, the flying automobile made a 35-minute journey between Nitra and Bratislava, Slovakia’s international airports. It is capable of carrying two passengers.
The Certificate of Airworthiness is an official certificate issued in compliance with all EASA regulations for its member states. AirCar can fly into the U.K., and there are plans to fly to London from Paris in the near future.
The flying cars are now touted as net-generation air mobility vehicles.
“The AirCar certification paves the way for the mass production of extremely efficient flying cars. It is formal and definitive validation of our ability to revolutionize mid-distance travel forever”, mentions Professor Stefan Klein, the inventor and founder of Klein Vision.
Klein Vision, the firm behind AirCar, claims the prototype took two years to create and cost “less than 2 million dollars”.
Klein Vision’s consultant and investor Anton Zajac believes the company would be extremely successful if it could capture even a small percentage of worldwide airline or taxi sales. “In the U.S. alone, there are around 40,000 aircraft orders and if we convert just 5% of those to flying cars, we’ve got a big market”, he stated.
According to BIS Research’s urban air mobility industry analysis, the market would develop at a high CAGR of 27.37 percent between 2023 and 2035, based on current values.
By 2035, the Asia-Pacific region is predicted to have a 39.27 percent share of the market. China, Japan, South Korea, and Singapore are all part of the Asia-Pacific area, but China is predicted to take the lead in 2035 due to population growth and traffic congestion in the country’s megacities.
The South Korean government has started building infrastructure for urban air mobility (UAM). Flying taxis or automobiles are being hailed as the next-generation means of transportation that will aid in traffic reduction.
Several firms are developing unpiloted air taxi services with autonomous flight and vertical landing and take-off. They are being promoted as a convenient and flexible mode of transportation, garnering major investment.
Boeing also announced an additional $450 million (£334 million) investment in Wisk, the California-based autonomous-air-taxi firm it owns with Kitty Hawk, a company founded by Google co-founder Larry Page.
AirCar’s engineers are already working on a second-generation prototype, which will be a pre-production vehicle with a 300 horsepower engine, a top speed of 300 kilometers per hour, and a range of 1,000 kilometers.