Flying AirCar gets airworthiness certification
People have long coveted futuristic products like Marty McFly’s hoverboard from the "Back to the Future" franchise or helpful robots like C3PO and R2D2 in the "Star Wars" franchise and even George Jetson’s flying car.
One Slovakian company has taken it upon itself to make at least one of those science fiction dreams a reality.
The Klein Vision AirCar received its official certificate of airworthiness on Jan. 24, according to a company news release.
The AirCar is a two-passenger vehicle with four wheels, a pusher propeller, switchblade-style retractable wings and a telescoping tail that transforms into a road-legal package on the ground in just three minutes.
AirCar during a flight test.
The vehicle has completed 70 hours of rigorous flight tests based on the European Aviation Safety Agency standards and has had over 200 successful takeoffs and landings.
Some obstacles in the flight tests involved a full range of flight and performance maneuvers as well as demonstrated static and dynamic stability, the news release continued.
The AirCar is currently powered by a 160 hp BMW engine and has a top airspeed of 118 mph, but will be upgraded to a 300-hp engine that will be capable of reaching 186 mph. It flew at a cruising altitude of 8,200 feet during the recent test.
The hybrid car-aircraft, called AirCar, is pictured during a 35-minute flight on June 28, 2021, between international airports in Nitra and Bratislava, Slovakia. (Klein Vision)
"AirCar certification opens the door for mass production of very efficient flying cars. It is official and the final confirmation of our ability to change mid-distance travel forever," said professor Stefan Klein, the inventor, leader of the development team and the test pilot.
"Fifty years ago, the car was the epitome of freedom," said Anton Zajac, the project co-founder. "AirCar expands those frontiers, by taking us into the next dimension; where road meets sky."
The company also confirmed it has finished tests for a new powerful, lightweight, and efficient ADEPT Airmotive aviation engine and hopes to present a new model in about 12 months.
Exact pricing for the customer version has not been announced, but the prototype cost a reported $2.3 million to develop.
FOX News contributed to this report. This story was reported out of Los Angeles.