(NEXSTAR) — The Aircar, a relatively new prototype for a flying car, has successfully completed a 35-minute journey between international airports in Slovakia, reportedly “turning science fiction into a reality,” according to its developers. is changing”.
The hybrid car-aircraft took off on Monday morning between Nitra in western Slovakia for the capital Bratislava. Upon landing in Bratislava, the aircar’s inventor, Stephen Klein, retrieved the flying car’s wings and carried it over the city area.
“This flight heralds a new era of dual-transport vehicles. According to a press release, after the successful flight, Klein said, it opens up a new class of transportation and basically gives the freedom to the person responsible for the cars. .
The Aircar Prototype 1, which has been in development at Klein’s company Kleinvision since 2017, is powered by a 160-horsepower BMW engine, and has a fixed propeller. According to Kleinvision, the flying car is capable of a 45-degree turn, a top speed of 190 kilometers per hour (118 mph) and a cruising altitude of 8,200 feet. A ballistic parachute is also included for emergencies.
A future pre-production model, the Aircar Prototype 2, will have a more powerful engine and a variable-pitch propeller, allowing it to travel 621 miles at a speed of 300 kilometers per hour (186 mph), Company claims.
“The aircar is no longer just a proof of concept … it has turned science fiction into a reality,” Kleinvision co-founder Anton Zazak said in a press release.
KleinVision hopes to eventually test a 4-seat version, as well as a twin-propeller version and an amphibious model.
Professor Stephen Klein, the inventor of the Aircar, had previously worked on the development of several new modes of transportation, including electric scooters, golf carts and two “flying cars” under the name Aeromobil, per Kleinvision’s website.
The AirCar isn’t the only flying car currently under development, with several concepts attempting to take off in recent years, including the Airspeeder and Hexa, to name a few. Unlike those, however, the Aircar is not a VTOL (Vertical Takeoff and Landing) model, but requires a runway.
Speaking with the BBC, Zazak said that aircars would be vying for one percent of the emerging market for flying taxis, of which there are already “nearly 40,000 orders for planes in the United States alone”.
“And if we convert 5% of them to replace aircraft for a flying car – we have a huge market,” he said.
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