Forward-looking: Flying cars aren’t new—many companies have created or are working on vehicles that fall into the category—though few, if any, resemble the classic design found in sci-fi media. But a new prototype has the distinction of looking and working like both a car and a plane.
The AirCar is the work of Slovakian firm Klein Vision, whose co-founder, Stefan Klein, was the original inventor and designer of the Aeromobil flying car that we saw in 2017. He left the company in 2016 to form a rival manufacturer.
Klein Vision has just released footage of the fifth-generation AirCar taking its maiden flight. As shown in the video, the sporty-looking two-seater’s tail extends so the wings rise and open at the push of a button, all within three minutes. As long as there are around 300 meters of clear road ahead, drivers will be able to leave the earth for the air.
The AirCar weighs 1,100kg (2,425 pounds) but can carry an additional 200kg (440 pounds). It’s powered by a BMW 1.6-liter engine that gives it an output of 140HP, has an estimated range of 1,000 km (621 miles), and a top airspeed of 200 km/h (124 mph).
“Following the completion of all required flight tests in compliance with EASA regulations, we will deliver a model with a certified ADEPT, 300HP engine within the next 6 next months,” said Klein, who was also the test pilot. “The good news is, we already have a buyer.”
Most of the ‘flying cars’ we’ve seen in the past look like either small, light aircraft or large drones with cockpits, neither of which are particularly suitable for roads. Hopefully, the AirCar will bring us a step closer to the Back to the Future-style flying vehicles we’ve dreamt of