Science

Forget Eurostar! Flying car to 'change travel forever' with trips between Paris and London


AirCar, a so-called “dual-mode car-aircraft vehicle”, has successfully completed 70 hours of rigorous flight testing, with more than 200 take-offs and landings. Consequently, it has been awarded an official Certificate of Airworthiness by the Slovak Transport Authority, meaning the aircraft complies with European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) standards.

After Brexit, Britain is no longer a member of EASA – but the body’s regulations are based on International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) standards, to which the UK continues to adhere.

Inventor and test pilot Professor Stefan Klein said: “AirCar certification opens the door for mass production of very efficient flying cars. It is official and the final confirmation of our ability to change mid-distance travel forever.”

Anton Zajac, the project co-founder, added: “Each member state appoints local authority to issue certificates valid across the member countries. Hence, AirCar could fly into the UK and we do have plans to fly to London from Paris in the near future.”

Initially, a hybrid engine is being considered for the completed vehicle, with combustion in the air, and electricity in the car mode. However, an electric version will be possible – once sufficiently powerful batteries are available.

The 1000kg, two-seat dual-mode first prototype (P1) is powered by a 1.6L BMW engine and can travel at 125mph.

Klein Vision, the Slovakia-based company co-founded by Mr Klein in 1989, has already completed tests of an engine for a second prototype (P2) which can reach speeds in excess of 186 mph (300kmh), and capable of travelling 500 miles (800 kilometres).

A Klein Vision video shows the futuristic-looking prototype in the air, and then on the ground, with its wings neatly folded away.

It took a team of eight highly skilled specialists and over 100,000 hours to convert design drawings into mathematical models with CFD analysis calculations, wind tunnel testing.

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Senior technician Dr Branko Sarh added: “Professor Stefan Klein is the world leader in the development of user-friendly Flying Cars. His latest (fifth) version is the pinnacle achievement in the new category of flying cars!”

“The automated transition from road vehicle into an air vehicle and vice versa, deploying/retracting wings and tail is not only the result of pioneering enthusiasm, innovative spirit and courage; it is an outcome of excellent engineering and professional knowledge.

“Transportation Authority carefully monitored all stages of unique AirCar development from its start in 2017.

“Transportation safety is our highest priority. AirCar combines top innovations with safety measures in line with EASA standards. It defines a new category of a sports car and a reliable aircraft.”

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