Image Source BBC
Let us introduce the AirCar, an idea and a patent by Klein Vision, a “dual-vehicle”. This car aims to revolutionise travel by allowing access to land and air based travel from one vehicle, and yes it really flies but before we talk about its test flights, let’s take a look at the car in AirCar. The AirCar is mostly a completely unique and customised design, but there is one key part that we can recognise and that’s the motor under the hood powering the car and plane aspects of this vehicle. The AirCar comes equipped with an BMW engine, packing 160bhp on this ultra light car allowed it reach speeds of 190km/h or 118mph when it’s being used on the ground. You’re probably wondering how you’d drive that thing around with those large wings on the sides, the answer is that the car can transform into two states, a flying one and a ground driving one, and it does so in under three minutes!
Image Source BBC
The car has been successful in over 40 hours of test flights, it flew from an international airport in the city of Nitra to another in Bratislava, Slovakia’s capital to the international airport in Bratislava, landed and drove from there, counting over 140 landings. The AirCar supports up to two passengers provided their combined weight is below 200kg. The flying car is science fiction no more, and the AirCar could set a trend in motion that completely changes how we view transport. The flight was reported as “Pleasant and normal”.
Image Source ITV
What’s next? well the next model of AirCar, the prototype 1 has reached a height of 8,200ft, however the team is already talking about the AirCar prototype 2, including a 300hp engine an aircraft certification (EASA CS-23) and an M1 road permit, the variable pitch propeller is expected to bump speeds up to 300km/h and the flight range will also be increased, currently at around 40 minutes.
Do you think this will become a household staple? Returning the freedom of cars in a fresh new way? Or just a fad that won’t take off? Klein Vision spent two years and under 2 million to get this far, there’s a huge margin for profit and improvement, so keep an eye on the skies, before you know it you’ll be seeing AirCars!
Application for this technology could hugely affect many different industries. Delivery drivers for anything from goods to food would be able to maximise efficiency and time. What about adapting the technology to larger vehicles that have to transport many goods? Could flying cars and trucks really compete with cargo flights?
Another thought that is often omitted when talking about this technology is what effect it would have on airspace laws if it became mainstream. Where would users be allowed to fly and land. How would air collisions be avoided and handled if they did occur. It leaves a lot to be thought about. Would we need indicators below and above cars to indicate when we decide to go up and down in altitude or would it be more akin to actual planes and public transport where are there set routes.
Legal issues aside, the thought of taking to the skies when traffic is bad sounds amazing, but when everyone on the road can do the same, will we end up with traffic jams in the sky. Perhaps we’re putting too much thought ahead into what at the moment is sole prototype with a few tests under its belt. We have a long way before this is perfected and even longer before it becomes mainstream enough to worry about the laws surrounding road use.