Tech

You won’t see any better today than a flying car that really flies

Klein Vision, a Slovakian company, flew its prototype flying car between two different cities, on a journey of about 100 kilometers. Impressive images.

Reality has now overtaken science fiction Can we read at the top of the press release. And for once, it’s true: a flying car made a flight between two cities, a hundred kilometers apart, for the first time, on June 28, 2021.

The car took 35 minutes to travel from the city of Nitra, in Slovakia, to Bratislava, the capital, which is half the time normally required. It is above all a technical feat: the car can be transformed into a small plane with just the click of a button. It takes less than three minutes for the wings and tail of the car to unfold, and for it to be ready to fly.

” A new era “

If this was the first time that the car linked two cities on the same flight, Stefan Klein, its designer and co-founder of Klein Vision, is not at his first attempt: it was the 120th time he landed with the car at Bratislava airport.

The AirCar Prototype 1 is equipped with a BMW 160hp engine, a propeller and a parachute “, explains the press release. The AirCar has already performed “ more than 40 hours of testing in the air, including 45 degree turns, and stability tests “. So far, the car has reached an altitude of 2,500 m and a speed of 190 km / h.

The flight of the AirCar between Nitra and Bratislava // Source: Klein Vision

The car can also carry 2 people, up to a limit of 200 kg. Unlike drones and helicopters, the car cannot take off vertically: it needs a runway for take-off and landing, like airplanes. ” This theft marks the beginning of a new era in the history of cars. It paves the way for a new category of transport. It is the return to the freedom of individuals “, Stefan Klein wants to believe.

And now ?

When will the car be available for sale? This is the big question. For now, nothing is certain: the AirCar will have to pass a whole battery of tests before it can be marketed. And it may not be authorized for sale to individuals immediately: it will certainly be necessary, in addition to having a B license, to have a pilot’s license.

It will also be necessary to add to that the cost, certainly prohibitive, of such a car. Klein Vision explained that the development of the prototype of the AirCar had cost just under 2 million euros. Klein Vision has not commented on a possible market date, nor on a homologation of the car.

The flying car has been a dream of many companies for a long time. Big names in the automotive and aeronautics sector have looked at flying cars in recent years, including Airbus, Rolls-Royce, or the founder of Google. Uber, which was also working on a flying taxi project, abandoned this idea, however.

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