Well, here it is folks. The Batmobile in the making. This flying car is more plane than a car with wings to boot. Made by a company called Klein Vision and aptly named AirCar, this flying car is a hybrid that can drive around like a regular ground vehicle before going on a runway where it can pull out its tail and spread its wings to take flight.
AirCar has just completed a 35-minute test flight. The hybrid vehicle traveled around 50 miles between airports in Nitra and Bratislava, Slovakia. Its creator, Professor Stefan Klein said that the car could fly about 600 miles or 1000 km, at a height of around 8,200ft or 2,500m. Its total airtime as of now is 40 hours across a lot of testing. The car’s Transformers-like transformation takes two minutes and 15 seconds. Going from a car to an aircraft.
Klein is the founder and CEO of Klein Vision and has devoted the last twenty years of his life to trying to convert a car into a flying car. If the test is anything to go by, it seems that he may have succeeded. The car’s wings fold along the sides of its body and in the air, it has a cruising speed of 170km/h. The test driver was Klein himself and he described the experience as normal and very pleasant.
The AirCar has its limitations though. As of now, the car can only carry two people with a combined weight limit of 200kg. It can’t take off vertically like a VTOL and requires a runway to take off and land. Given how technology is progressing, flying cars is something that might as well be part of our future. Morgan Stanley, a consultant company, predicted that the flying car market could be worth $1.5 trillion by 2040. You can watch the AirCar in all its glory in the video below.
Klein Vision might be aiming for just that. According to Anton Zajac, an adviser, and investor in Klein Vision, “There are about 40,000 orders of aircraft in the United States alone. And if we convert 5% of those, to change the aircraft for the flying car – we have a huge market”. The prototype car itself has taken around 2m euros to develop.
The AirCar is fitted with a BMW engine and runs on gasoline right now so a full tank gives it the 600 miles range.