Watch This Convertible Flying Car Complete Historic First Airport Flight
The BMW-powered “AirCar” has been described “lovechild of a Bugatti Veyron and a Cesna 172.”
The journey saw the AirCar take off from Nitra, Slovakia and land in nearby Bratislava 35 minutes later, which is approximately 65 miles away by car.
As the above video shows, the dual-mode vehicle’s wings, tail and roof retract in under three minutes at the push of a button to transform into a street legal convertible that, considering its capability and prototypical form, looks pretty damn cool.
Klein Vision co-founder and CEO Stefan Klein, a former BMW and Audi engineer, then drives the AirCar to downtown Bratislava, completing the entire jaunt in half the time it would take on the road.
This iteration, the AirCar Prototype 1, has completed a number of impressive feats over 40 hours of test flights, including steep 45-degree turns, 8,200-foot altitudes at a maximum cruising speed of 118, and various maneuverability and stability tests.
The next pre-production model, the AirCar Prototype 2, will have an increased output of 300 HP and a variable pitch propeller. Klein Vision projects a cruise speed of 181 mph and a range of 621 miles.
Dr. Stephen Wright, a senior research fellow in avionics and aircraft at the University of the West of England, told that the BBC that the AirCar is like a “lovechild of a Bugatti Veyron and Cesna 172,” but predicted many more successful, incident-free flights will be needed to prove its safety to the general public and aviation authorities.
“Anyone can make an airplane but the trick is making one that flies and flies and flies for the thick end of a million hours, with a person on board, without having an incident.”
On that end, Klein Vision expects the AirCar Prototype 2 to receive Europe’s EASA CS-23 aircraft certification, which has been granted to various small single-engine aircraft, as well as an M1 road permit.
“I can’t wait to see the piece of paper that says this is safe to fly and safe to sell,” Wright added.