SLOVAKIA – Science fiction became real this week, as a prototype flying car successfully completed a 35-munite test flight between two cities in Slovakia before landing, transforming into vehicle mode, and driving downtown, reports say.
Klein Vision’s AirCar made the flight between Nitra and the capital Bratislava on Monday, according to a press release the company put out on Wednesday. Once landing in Bratislava, the vehicle – piloted by Klein Vision CEO Professor Stefan Klein – transformed and rolled out towards the city center where it was greeted by crowds of amazed onlookers.
The AirCar Prototype 1 is a two-passenger vehicle that runs on a 160 horsepower BMW engine. It comes with four wheels, a pusher propeller, switchblade-style retractable wings and a telescoping tail, and can transform from airplane mode to road-legal vehicle mode in only three minutes.
The Prototype has completed 142 test flights – for a total of 40 hours of flight time – and has reached heights of 8,200 feet at a maximum speed of 118 miles per hour, according to Klein Vision.
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Professor Klein, upon landing in Bratislava, declared that the successful test flight of the AirCar Prototype 1 signaled the dawn of a new era in transportation.
“This flight starts a new era of dual transportation vehicles,” he said. “It opens a new category of transportation and returns the freedom originally attributed to cars back to the individual.”
Klein Vision co-founder Anton Zajac, in Wednesday’s press release, echoed Klein’s sentiment, noting that the future is now.
“AirCar is no longer just a proof of concept,” Zajac said. “It has turned science fiction into a reality.”
The company is also developing the AirCar Prototype 2, which they say will boast 300 horsepower and speeds of up to 186 miles per hour and a range of 621 miles.
Klein Vision has also stated that they eventually intend to create consumer AirCar models with three and even four seats, in addition to twin-engine and amphibious models.