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Convertible ‘flying automobile’ AirCar takes to the skies

Flying Car

A prototype flying car has completed a 35-minute flight between international airports in Nitra and Bratislava, Slovakia.

AirCar, a hybrid car-aircraft, is powered by a BMW engine and runs on ordinary gasoline.

 

Prof Stefan Klein, the project’s creator, said it could fly for 1,000 kilometers (600 miles) at a height of 8,200 feet (2,500 meters) and has logged 40 hours in the air so far.

 

The transition from automobile to plane takes two minutes and fifteen seconds.

‘Extremely pleasurable’

The car’s small wings fold down along the sides.

When Prof Klein arrived in town, he drove it directly off the airstrip and into town, surrounded by invited reporters.

Early Monday morning, he described the encounter as “normal” and “quite comfortable.”

The vehicle reached a cruising speed of 170km/h in the air.

It has a combined weight limit of 200kg and can carry two persons (31 stone).

However, unlike drone taxi prototypes, it is unable to take off and land vertically, necessitating the use of a runway.

The embryonic market for flying automobiles, which have long been touted in popular culture as a visionary landmark of the future, has high hopes.

Morgan Stanley, a consulting firm, anticipated that the sector would be valued at $1.5 trillion (£1 trillion) by 2040.

Hyundai Motors Europe CEO Michael Cole described the notion as “part of our future” during an industry event on Tuesday.

It’s seen as a possible answer to the burden on existing transportation infrastructure.

‘Extremely large market’

Klein Vision, the firm behind AirCar, claims the prototype took two years to create and cost “less than 2 million euros” (£1.7 million).

Klein Vision’s consultant and investor Anton Rajac believes the company would be extremely successful if it could capture even a small percentage of worldwide airline or taxi sales.

 

“In the United States alone, there are around 40,000 aircraft orders,” he stated.

“And if we convert just 5% of those to flying cars, we’ve got a big market.”