Klein Vision AirCar, the flying car in Transformers style

Klein Vision AirCar, the flying car in Transformers style

Klein Vision AirCar

We are well beyond the year 2019 of the first Blade Runner, and 2015 of Back to the Future 2, but not even a shadow of flying cars. Except for concepts and prototypes, the last of which is the Klein Vision AirCar here. In progress for some time, it has reappeared in recent days also on the major news channels thanks to its first milestone: a flight between two Slovak airports completed in record time and with no unexpected details. it is its very “earthly” nature as it is closer to traditional cars than its competitors. In fact, we find a 1.6-liter BMW engine and a chassis similar to modern supercars, where the rear wing of the airplane mode remains active on the road (helping the general aerodynamics). Furthermore, for the vehicle to become a real aircraft it takes only 3 minutes and the press of a button. And you don't even need long runways to take off, 300 meters are enough thanks to its low weight.

The range of the model being tested is announced in 1000 km, while the heights already reached exceed 2,000 meters. In car mode, only 2 seats are currently available, but Klein Vision itself promises more spacious versions and even an amphibious model. Also in the motorization, more powerful engines are already being considered, given that the next models will have a cruising speed of around 300 km per hour.

In addition to the recent Nitra-Bratislava media event, AirCar has already exceeded 40 hours of flight (in all possible conditions) and made over 140 landings without particular problems. In short, the general impression is that of a finished product and not of the classic technological madness that is good for accessing the Internet. Of course, it remains to be seen how the next tests will go and how it will be positioned on the market once it is ready for launch.

It goes without saying that it will be a very exclusive vehicle, were it not for the price and the regulations it will have to respect. We have no signals on the price, but it is enough to combine the cost of a supercar with that of an airplane to understand that it will take a lot, a lot, of money.

Klein Vision AirCar completes 35-minute test flight in Slovakia

a airplane that is flying in the air © Klein Vision

A prototype flying car has completed a test flight between two cities in Slovakia, spending 35 minutes airborne.

Klein Vision's AirCar flew between Nitra and the capital Bratislava on Monday, according to a press release published Wednesday.

The AirCar Prototype 1 is powered by a 160 horsepower BMW engine, and comes equipped with a fixed propeller. It transforms from aircraft to road vehicle in less than three minutes.

It has now completed more than 40 hours of test flights, according to Klein Vision, including flying at 8,200 feet and reaching a maximum cruising speed of 190 kilometers per hour (118 miles per hour).

After landing in Bratislava on Monday, the aircraft transformed into a car, and was driven into the city center by Klein Vision CEO Stefan Klein and company co-founder Anton Zajac.

'AirCar is no longer just a proof of concept,' Zajac said in the press release. 'It has turned science fiction into a reality.'

The company is working on a model called AirCar Prototype 2, which will boast a 300 horsepower engine.

It is expected to be able to cruise at 300 kilometers per hour (186 miles per hour) and have a range of 1,000 kilometers (621 miles).

Klein Vision plans to develop three- and four-seater models of the AirCar, as well as twin-engine and amphibious versions, according to its website.

A growing number of companies are exploring the potential of flying vehicles despite hurdles including safety and reliability. Flying vehicles would need to operate in crowded airspace, near small drones and traditional airplanes, and also need a regulatory framework, which could take years.

Uber and Hyundai unveiled plans for an electric flying taxi at last year's Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. Michael Cole, the CEO of Hyundai's European unit, said on Tuesday that the South Korean automaker is working 'very actively' on the program.

Volkswagen said in February that it is looking into flying vehicles in China. Meanwhile, Porsche, Daimler and Toyota have all backed startups in what is known as the electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) industry.

In August 2020, Japanese company Sky Drive Inc. conducted Japan's first public demonstration of a flying vehicle. The car took off from Toyota Test Field and circled for around four minutes.