Slovakian inventor Stefan Klein has scored a major success with his Aircar: It has received its airworthiness certificate and is allowed to go into series production. Soon he wants to fly from London to Paris with the flying car.
Certificate of airworthiness granted after test phase
After a test phase in which seventy flying hours with more than 200 takeoffs and landings were completed, the competent Slovak authority has granted the Aircar an airworthiness certificate. With this certification, it may be built in series and fly in all EASA member states. For Klein, this is just as much a big step as it is for the development of civil aviation as a whole: with the series production of aircars, individual transportation could change drastically in the coming decades.
The now-approved flying car can transform from a car into an airplane and vice versa in less than three minutes. By default, the front wings are hidden in the body and the rear spoiler is retracted. At the push of a button, these elements of the vehicle or aircraft, which are essential for flying, can be extended and it can then take off. It is powered by a BMW engine with 160 hp and a displacement of 1.6 liters, which drives a rear propeller in flight mode. The maximum attainable speed is 190 km/h, and the flight altitude is limited to 2,500 meters.
To take off, a runway of around 300 meters is still required. The maximum payload of the 1,100-kilogram flying car is 200 kilograms – so it is not designed for flights with a lot of luggage.
Flight planned from London to Paris
Klein began working on flying cars back in the 1990s. In the process, he reached another development milestone during the certification process: he piloted his flying machine from Nitra to Bratislava and landed at the capital’s airport. Once there, he transformed the aircraft into a car at the push of a button and continued his journey on the road.
The approximately 90-kilometer distance, which Klein completed in 35 minutes, is by no means the end of the story, however. A flight from London to Paris is planned for the near future. Klein has also stated that he is already working on a new model that will be capable of speeds in excess of 300 km/h and have a range of more than 1,000 kilometers.
The responsible authority in Slovakia was impressed by the development. René Molnár, head of the Civil Aviation Department, indicated that Aircar combines “top innovations with safety measures that meet Easa standards.”