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Car That Transforms Into A Plane In Less Than 3 Minutes Certified To Fly After Passing Safety Tests

by : Hannah Smith on :
Car That Transforms Into A Plane In Less Than 3 Minutes Certified To Fly After Passing Safety Tests
Car That Transforms Into A Plane In Less Than 3 Minutes Certified To Fly After Passing Safety Tests (KleinVision)

Flying cars may be a step closer to reality, after a dual-mode vehicle capable of transforming from a road car to a plane passed tests certifying it to fly.

AirCar, a Slovakian startup project, is capable of making the switch in less than three minutes, and is now officially sky-worthy after undergoing European Aviation Safety Agency testing.

The tests saw the AirCar prototype complete more than 200 take-off and landing procedures, logging 70 hours of flying.

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In a statement, the vehicle's designers claimed it 'demonstrated an astonishing static and dynamic stability in the aircraft mode', and was able to execute take-off and landing without input from the pilot, in line with the aim of making the vehicle accessible to pilots without specialist training.

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The project was co-founded by Professor Stefan Klein and Anton Zajac, and developed by Slovakian firm KleinVision, which has previously said it envisions the AirCar as being used for leisure journeys or as a commercial taxi service.

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Its certification is the latest milestone for the groundbreaking vehicle, which last year completed its first inter-city flight in Slovakia, successfully travelling from Nitra to Bratislava in around 35 minutes.

In a statement, Zajac said that the project 'turned science fiction into a reality,' adding, 'Fifty years ago, the car was the epitome of freedom. AirCar allows us to be free again.'

'AirCar certification opens the door for mass production of very efficient flying cars,' Professor Klein said, per MailOnline. 'It is official and the final confirmation of our ability to change mid-distance travel forever.'

AirCar (KleinVision)
AirCar (KleinVision)
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The current prototype version of the AirCar is equipped with a 160-horsepower single prop BMW petrol-powered engine, with developers aiming to launch as pre-production model equipped with a 300 horsepower engine to be ready for sale within the next year.

The two-seater vehicle is said to be capable of speeds of up to 186mph, with a range of 1,000 kilometres. It has wings that unfurl for take-off and fold away upon landing, allowing it to fit into a normal parking space. KleinVision is yet to announce how much the vehicle will cost for those looking to be among the first flying car owners.

AirCar is one of several flying vehicles currently in development, with major companies including Airbus, Uber and Alphabet all working on their own versions of the futuristic transport.

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Hannah Smith

Hannah is a London-based journalist covering news and features for UNILAD. She's especially interested in social and political activism and culture.

Topics: Technology, Cars