‘AirCar’ flies into future of automobiles and aerospace


Flying cars | Pixabay

Amanda Salazar, Editor-in-Chief

The Slovak Transportation Authority recently awarded an official Certificate of Airworthiness to a prototype of a car that can transform into an aircraft, granting permission for the technology to be both driven and flown in the country of Slovakia.

This “dual-mode car-aircraft vehicle,” dubbed the “AirCar,” comes from a company called Klein Vision. It was created and test driven by Stefan Klein, the creator of the technology and leader of the development team.

“AirCar certification opens the door for mass production of very efficient flying cars,” Klein said.

To gain certification, the prototype went through 70 hours of flight testing and 200 test takeoffs and landings.

The “AirCar” currently has a 1.6-liter BMW engine and takes about two minutes and 15 seconds to transform from a road car into an aircraft. In its aircraft form, the technology can reach a maximum operating altitude of 8,000 feet and can reach driving speeds of more than 100 mph.

The “AirCar” runs on regular gasoline that fuels land cars, though Royal Aeronautical Society’s Airworthiness and Maintenance Specialist Group Chair Kyriakos Kourousis said that he even expects there to be hybrid or fully electric versions of the “AirCar” in the future.

“The choice of an internal combustion engine for the propulsion system of this vehicle has been most probably made to rely on proven technology. The environmental impact can be substantial if the utilization of such vehicles is scaled up, especially in urban settings,” Kourousis said.

“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.”

The certification of the “AirCar” is the latest milestone Klein Vision has reached in its mission to turn the classic science fiction trope of flying cars into reality. The company made headlines at the end of 2020 when the “AirCar” completed its first test flight.

But Klein Vision is only a single company in a growing industry of interest. SkyDrive Inc., headquartered in Tokyo, Japan, is another company that recently started with aims to develop zero-emission flying vehicles.

Klein Vision said that it hopes to have the “AirCar” commercially available in the next 12 months. People are required to have proper driver’s or pilot’s licenses to drive or fly the vehicle, respectively.

“50 years ago, the car was the epitome of freedom,” Klein Vision’s co-founder Anton Zajac said in a statement. “AirCar expands those frontiers, by taking us into the next dimension; where road meets sky.”