When we talk about flying cars, we usually refer to vehicles that move using drone technology. But with so many decades of science fiction literature and cinema, it is impossible to read ‘flying car’ and not think of a classic car with 4 wheels that suddenly sprouts wings, or rises and turns its wheels, taking flight.
And so is the AirCar, which more than a giant drone looks like the car of a James Bond villain from the 70-80s.
AirCar, the flying car ‘transformer’
What would happen if a Bugatti Veyron and a Cesna 172 plane had a child? The result would be the AirCar, a 4-wheeler that can go down the highway, slip into an airport, and take off like a plane. Created by the company Klein Vision, the AirCar vale “less than 2 million euros“, And his prototype has gone from the design table to the skies in a couple of years.
The hybrid car and aircraft is equipped with a BMW engine and it runs on normal gasoline. Its creator, Professor Stefan Klein, said it could fly about 1,000 km, at an altitude of 2,500 m, and that so far it has spent a total of 40 hours in the air.
A 35 minute flight
But how do you go from highway to heaven and vice versa? The AirCar takes an average of 2 minutes and 15 seconds to transform from car to plane. The narrow wings fold up along the sides of the car for driving mode, and unfold for pilot mode. On your most recent test, the AirCar arrived by road, driven by its creator, to the Nitra International Airport, Slovakia. He got into one of the tracks, spread his wings and took off for Bratislava International Airport, also in Slovakia and 80 kilometers away.
The flight lasted about 35 minutes, and the vehicle reached a cruising speed of 170 km / h. The AirCar can transport two people, with a combined weight limit of 200 kg. But, unlike the prototype taxi-drones and VTOL vehicles that we see today, cannot take off or land vertically, and therefore needs a runway like a conventional airplane.
A 1 trillion dollar market
Undoubtedly, there are high expectations for the fledgling flying car market, which has long been heralded in popular culture as a visionary milestone of the future. In fact, in 2019 consulting firm Morgan Stanley predicted that the sector could be worth $ 1.5 trillion by 2040.
And at an industry event on Tuesday, Hyundai Motors Europe CEO Michael Cole called the concept “part of our futureFlying cars, whether they are drones or like this AirCar, are considered a “possible solution to the pressure on existing transport infrastructuress”.
The question is, when will we finally see flying DeLorean like the one from Back to the Future, or hybrids like the Blade Runner cars?