Flying car prototype completes test flight between airports

Flying car prototype completes test flight between airports
© Klein Vision/YouTube

A flying car prototype completed its first ever inter-city test flight on Monday, traveling between two Slovakian airports in 35 minutes.

The AirCar, which its creator Klein Vision called “a dual-mode car-aircraft vehicle,” traveled from the international airport in Nitra to the international airport in Bratislava.

The flight was the prototype’s 142nd successful landing, according to a press release from the company.

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Once it landed at the airport in Bratislava, the aircraft transformed into a sports car in less than three minutes “at a click of a button,” and was driven off by its inventor, Stefan Klein, and co-founder Anton Zajac, to downtown Bratislava, according to company.

The trip decreased the typical travel time by a factor of two, the company reported.

Klein said the flight marks the beginning of “a new era of dual transportation vehicles.”

“It opens a new category of transportation and returns the freedom originally attributed to cars back to the individual,” Klein said after exiting the AirCar cockpit.

Zajac sounded a similar tone, saying the vehicle “turned a science fiction into a reality.”

“AirCar is no longer just a proof of concept; flying at 8,200ft at a speed of 100kt, it has turned science fiction into a reality,” Zajac added.

The prototype, according to USA Today, took two years to build and costs approximately $2.3 million.

It has thus far completed more than 40 hours of test flights, including steep 45 degree turns and stability and maneuverability testing, according to the company. It has flown at 8,200 feet, and reached a maximum cruise speed of 300 km/h.

The vehicle takes off and lands vertically, according to USA Today, and it requires a runway.

The prototype has a 160HP BMW engine with fixed-propeller and a ballistic parachute. 

The successful test flight in Slovakia comes as automobile companies are actively looking towards the future and charting plans for flying cars.

The chief executive of Hyundai's European operations recently said he believes the concept of flying cars could become a reality by the end of the decade.

Earlier this month, Hyundai's CEO said the company could have urban air mobility vehicles working as air taxis at major U.S. airports as early as 2025.

Updated at 3:24 p.m.