- The flight test for the hybrid car was conducted between Nitra International Airport and Bratislava International Airport on Monday, June 28
- The hybrid car-aircraft is equipped with a BMW engine and runs on regular petrol-pump fuel
- The innovation has the capability to carry two people, with a combined weight limit of 200kg (31 stone)
AirCar, a dual-mode car-aircraft vehicle, has moved close to production, fulfilling a key development milestone in a 35-minute flight between two airports.
The flight test was conducted between Nitra International Airport and Bratislava International Airport on Monday, June 28.
Fitted with a BMW engine
According to a report by the BBC, the hybrid car-aircraft is equipped with a BMW engine and runs on regular petrol-pump fuel.
Stefan Klein, the brainchild behind the innovation, said it could fly about 1,000km (600 miles) at the height of 8,200ft (2,500m) and had clocked up 40 hours in the air so far.
Klein explained that it takes two minutes and 15 seconds to transform from a car into aircraft. Before taking off, the narrow wings fold down along the sides of the car.
Klein drove it straight off the runway and into town upon arrival during the flight test, watched by invited reporters.
He described the experience, early on Monday, June 28, as “normal” and “very pleasant”.
In the air, the vehicle reached a cruising speed of 170km/h.
The innovation has the capability to carry two people, with a combined weight limit of 200kg (31 stone).
Requires a runway for takeoff
But unlike drone-taxi prototypes, it cannot take off and land vertically and requires a runway.
This latest innovation comes when there are high expectations for the nascent market in flying cars, which have long been heralded in popular culture as a visionary landmark of the future.
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In 2019, consultant company Morgan Stanley predicted the sector could be worth N613 trillion by 2040.
And at an industry event on Tuesday, June 29, Hyundai Motors Europe chief executive Michael Cole called the concept “part of our future”.
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Boost to transport infrastructures
It is considered a potential solution to the strain on existing transport infrastructures.
Stephen Wright, a senior research fellow in avionics and aircraft at the University of the West of England, likened the AirCar to a Bugatti Veyron and a Cessna 17.
And he did not think the vehicle would be particularly loud or uneconomical in terms of fuel costs compared with other aircraft.
“I have to admit that this looks really cool – but I’ve got a hundred questions about certification,” Wright said.
According to Anton Rajac, an adviser and investor in Klein Vision, if the company could attract even a small percentage of global airline or taxi sales, it would be hugely successful.
Source: Legit Newspaper