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Klein Vision’s Flying Car AirCar Makes First-Ever Inter-City Flight
The Jetsons would be jealous! We’ve been hearing about flying cars and how they have the potential to change and improve personal mobility for years, but we’re still a long way from seeing it happen. One company in Slovakia has just marked a significant milestone, making the first-ever inter-city flight with a flying car.

Klein Vision’s Flying Car AirCar Makes First-Ever Inter-City Flight

AirCar Prototype 1 has completed the first-ever inter-city flight in SlovakiaAirCar Prototype 1 has completed the first-ever inter-city flight in SlovakiaAirCar Prototype 1 has completed the first-ever inter-city flight in SlovakiaAirCar Prototype 1 has completed the first-ever inter-city flight in SlovakiaAirCar Prototype 1 has completed the first-ever inter-city flight in Slovakia
Unlike eVTOLs (electric vertical take-off and landing aircraft), which are more like oversize drones than actual cars, this is a proper car—and a flying one, at that. It means that, unlike eVTOLs, it’s usable for dual transportation, both on the road as a car and by air as a plane. It is a flying car by all means and purposes, and it’s called AirCar.

Developed by Klein Visiona and first introduced in 2019, the AirCar has been making incredible (and incredibly fast) progress. The AirCar Prototype 1 made its maiden flight in late 2020 and, since then, has recorded 142 successful landings and over 40 hours of flight testing. The 142nd landing coincided with the AirCar’s first-ever inter-city flight, a 35-minute journey from the international airport in Nitra to the international airport in Bratislava, Slovakia, on June 28, 2021.

Professor Stefan Klein, the inventor of AirCar and the founder of Klein Vision, operated the vehicle in both modes. Once he landed in Bratislava, he converted the AirCar into a car—a process that took under three minutes and saw it retract its wings and tail—before driving it into the city. You can see a video of this historic first flight at the bottom of the page.

According to Klein Vision, dual-mode transportation will cut down flight times by half, for a very simple reason: you no longer have to find transportation on the road to get you to and from the airport and, once there, you can take off as soon as AirCar is in flight mode. Klein Vision imagines a future in which the AirCar will privatize air travel because every individual owning one will be allowed to drive it to the nearest airport to take it to the skies. Realistically speaking, the road to this is long and winding and will involve certifications, approvals, and, most likely, a pilot license.

Back to the topic of the first-ever inter-city flight, it was done with the Prototype 1 model, which is powered by a 160-hp BMW engine with a fixed propeller and can fly at a maximum cruising speed of 190 kph (118 mph). A press release from Klein Vision notes that the prototype has reached altitudes of 8,200 feet (2,500 meters) and has been able to perform steep 45-degree turns under supervision from the Civil Aviation Authority, and undergo a range of stability and maneuverability tests.

AirCar Prototype 2 will be the pre-production model and will feature a 300-hp engine with a variable pitch propeller. It will cruise at a much faster 300 kph (186.5 mph) and have a range of 1,000 km (621 miles) in the air. Klein Vision is hoping for an EASA CS-23 aircraft certification with an M1 road permit for use as a car. The company is also looking into diversifying the range of options, with 2 and 4-seat versions, and an amphibian model. Naturally, the only thing better than a car that can fly is a car that flies and floats.

As noted above, Klein Vision has made progress by leaps and bounds: it only took them 18 months to go from concept to prototype and then moved swiftly to live testing. As amazing as that is, it’s still only the beginning of the road toward dual transportation since one of the biggest hurdles will probably prove air certification. The goal behind the AirCar is very promising: to delivering the same freedom as the automobile in its early age. However, achieving it won’t be easy—if only for the fact that it will put civilians at the controls of legitimate aircraft.



press release
 
 
 
 
 

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