The era of flying cars has moved a significant step closer with a dual-mode car-aircraft vehicle receiving an official Certificate of Airworthiness by the Slovak Transport Authority.
The certificate was awarded this week following AirCar undertaking 70 hours of rigorous flight testing compatible with European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) standards, with over 200 take-offs and landings.
The flight tests included the full range of flight and performance manoeuvres and demonstrated both static and dynamic stability in the aircraft mode. The take-off and landing procedures were achieved even without the pilot’s need to touch the flight controls.
The AirCar took a team of eight specialists over 100,000 manhours to convert design drawings into mathematical models with CFD analysis calculations, wind tunnel testing, 1:1 design prototype powered by electric 15KW engine to 1000kg 2-seat dual-mode prototype powered by 1.6L BMW engine that achieved the crucial certification milestone.
“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,” said Professor Stefan Klein, the inventor, leader of the development team and the test pilot.
“50 years ago, the car was the epitome of freedom,” added Anton Zajac, the project cofounder. “AirCar expands those frontiers, by taking us into the next dimension; where road meets sky.”
Klein Vision has already completed tests of a new powerful, lightweight, and efficient ADEPT Airmotive aviation engine and finalised drawings and technical calculations for the upcoming monocoque model with variable pitch propeller expected to reach speeds over 300km/h and range of 1,000km.
Dr. Branko Sarh, Boeing senior technical fellow added: “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. The 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. Its certification was both a challenging and fascinating task,” added René Molnár, the director of the Civil Aviation Division (Transport Authority of Slovakia).
“ADEPT Airmotive is proud to have our ecologically compliant engines selected to power this exciting and innovative project,” said Richard Schulz – founder, ADEPT Airmotive. “Klein Vision’s AirCar is an engineering marvel, and we look forward our long-term cooperation,” added Raymond Bakker, the ADEPT Technical Director.
The new production model is expected to be certified in 12 months.