A prototype flying car has completed the first-ever test flight between international airports in Nitra and Bratislava, Slovakia, taking to the skies and landing in 35 minutes.
The hybrid car-aircraft, “AirCar” designed by visionary Slovak designer, Stefan Klein completed an 80km flight. This is the first flight by the flying car between two international airports and the longest flight in distance at an average speed of 170 km/h.
AirCar is equipped with a BMW engine and runs on regular petrol-pump fuel. According to Klein Vision, the inventors of AirCar completed its 142nd successful landing and the flight marked a key development milestone. After landing, at a click of a button, the aircraft transformed into a sports car in under three minutes and was driven by its inventor.
Dr. Branko Sarh, Boeing Co. Senior Technical Fellow said, “Professor Stefan Klein is the world leader in the development of user-friendly Flying Cars. The automated transition from road vehicle into an air vehicle and vice versa, deploying/retracting wings and tail is not only the result of pioneering enthusiasm, innovative spirit and courage; it is an outcome of excellent engineering and professional knowledge.”
Anton Zajac, the co-founder of Klein Vision said, “This flight starts a new era of dual transportation vehicles. It opens a new category of transportation and returns the freedom originally attributed to cars back to the individual.” said Professor Klein after exiting the AirCar cockpit in Bratislava. “AirCar is no longer just a proof of concept; flying at 8,200ft at a speed of 100kt, it has turned science fiction into a reality.”
Automotive technology and aviation technology are gradually merging with each other. Compared to traditional cars and aircrafts, flying cars are highly flexible and can operate as a mode of transportation on land and in the air.
According to a report, flying cars have been favoured by notable investors due to their broad application prospects. Larry Page, co-founder and CEO of Alphabet, Google’s parent company, was among the first to recognize their potential, personally funding three companies, Zee Aero, Opener and Kitty Hawk. Little wonder, Sebastian Thrun, Google’s self-driving team founder moved to become CEO of flying vehicle startup, Kitty Hawk. Uber has also disclosed that it is also planning to launch an air taxi in the coming years.
Several companies like Toyota Motors, Boeing, Airbus have invested and also embarked on the research and development of flying car projects.
This indicates the trend of the mobility market and shows that future transportation may develop in the sky.
Why flying cars matter
The most widely used form of transportation is on land. This form of transportation has certain limitations like traffic congestion especially in urban areas, poor road maintenance and others. But with the advent of flying cars, faster transportation will be attained in a shorter time, less traffic congestion and zero-emission as most of the flying cars use power batteries.