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A few years ago, back in 2018, we talked about the Blackfly, the first personal aircraft for urban air mobility (UAM) that was set to release commercially. Well, although an electric “Ultralight Aircraft” the price of an SUV (once it hits the mass market) sounded great, the company behind Blackfly – Opener – still hasn’t sold any units, and production of them seems a mystery. When personal aircrafts and air taxis became the new thing, who knows, but aircrafts have been popping up at auto shows, like flying car project - Skai and the most-talked about Airbus by the Hyundai Motor Group and Uber, making a lot of headway on its development and building partnerships with the right people. Well, they may all want to move over when they hear about the “AirCar”, having recently been awarded an official Certificate of Airworthiness by the Slovak Transport Authority.
That’s no easy feat, and according to Klein Vision, the company behind the AirCar, this certification came after completing 70 hours of "rigorous flight testing," and passing such tests with “flying” colors. The AirCar is definitely different than what we’ve seen thus far. Unlike most personal flying aircrafts that seem to only serve as an aerial form of movement, the AirCar is being called a "dual-mode car-aircraft vehicle." Can you guess why?
If you guessed an automotive vehicle that can act as a car and transform into a small airplane, you must be psychic! That’s exactly what the AirCar is – it even comes with a propeller in the back. Based on the video celebrating the certification, this personal aircraft seems to be able to seat two passengers, complete with a windshield able to withstand the friction of the atmosphere up there in the skies. According to Anton Zajac, co-founder of Klein Vision, the AirCar will only be able to reach a maximum operating altitude of 18,000 feet, so don’t worry about sharing the airspace with any helicopters. The maneuvers in the video seem pretty fancy, though.
The automobile may look like the old-school batmobile if it got a new paintjob, and takes up more room than modern SUVs, but if people can handle 18-wheeler trucks, they can handle an automobile with a long tail. The AirCar Prototype 1 took over 100,000 manhours, converting design concepts into the actual prototype, but after completing 70+ hours of flight tests, with 200 cross-country takeoffs and landings (compatible with European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) standards), the AIrCar has displayed not only the ability to perform flight and performance maneuvers, but the AIrCar has also demonstrated a high level of flight maneuverability and stability during takeoff and landing without pilot intervention.
As seen in the video, the transformation from aircraft to car (and vice-versa), takes about two minutes. That’s only a little longer than the modern convertible. The power supply wasn’t mentioned in the video, but according to Klein Vision, the two-seater AirCar is powered by a 1.6L BMW engine, capable of generating up to 140 horsepower, and able to run on the fuel sold at gas stations. For takeoff, the AirCar hits a speed of 71 mph, with a cruising speed of 111 mph at 2800 RPM. On the streets, the automobile can hit a speed up to 100 mph.
Klein Vision has a four-seater, a twin-engine, and water-to-air variant of the AirCar already in play, but it’s uncertain when they’ll actually go on sale. It won’t be available to the average consumer, you’ll need a pilot’s license to get behind the wheel of a personal aircraft. Still, we’ll be keeping an eye on the AirCar, and you can follow us on NowCar social media to keep up-to-date, too.