Flying car approved for takeoff after more than 200 test flights

An attendee poses for photos in a protoype SkyDrive SD-03 ultra-light, compact flying vehicle that requires no runway at CES 2022 at The Venetian Las Vegas on January 5, 2022 in Las Vegas, Nevada.
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - JANUARY 05: An attendee poses for photos in a protoype SkyDrive SD-03 ultra-light, compact flying vehicle that requires no runway at CES 2022 at The Venetian Las Vegas on January 5, 2022 in Las Vegas, Nevada. The 882-pound emission-free electric vehicle uses eight propellers and motors to take off and land vertically and can travel at up to 31 mph. Photo credit Ethan Miller/Getty Images
By , WWJ Newsradio 950

A car that can transform into a small aircraft has passed flight tests in Slovakia and was awarded an official Certificate of Airworthiness by the Slovak Transport Authority, according to developers.

The company Klein Vision says that the "AirCar" completed more than 70 hours of "rigorous flight testing" and included more than 200 takeoffs and landings.

The test flights were compatible with European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) standards, according to the company's press release on Monday.

"The challenging flight tests included the full range of flight and performance maneuvers and demonstrated an astonishing static and dynamic stability in the aircraft mode," Klein Vision said.

Klein Vision told CNN that a pilot's license will be required to fly the vehicle, and that they hope to have the "AirCar" commercially available within 12 months.

Eight specialists logged more than 100,000 hours to convert design concepts into mathematical models that led to the production of a prototype.

Anton Zajac, co-founder of Klein Vision, told CNN that the vehicle is powered by a 1.6L BMW engine, and runs on "fuel sold at any gas station." He added that it can fly at a maximum operating altitude of 18,000 feet.

"AirCar certification opens the door for mass production of very efficient flying cars," test pilot Stefan Klein, inventor and leader of the development team, said.

The "AirCar" completed a 35-minute test flight between airports in Nitra and the capital Bratislava in Slovakia in June, and then converted into a car after landing and was driven into the city.

"This is not the first time that similar types of vehicles have been certified," Kyriakos Kourousis, chair of the Royal Aeronautical Society's Airworthiness & Maintenance Specialist Group, said.

"If the company which is involved in the certification, has made the business case, this will progress in creating a product that can reach the market," Kourousis said.

In the United States, the company Terrafugia obtained an FAA Special Light-Sport Aircraft (LSA) airworthiness Certificate for its Transition vehicle, which allows users to drive and fly.

Kourousis added that helicopters could one day be replaced by the "AirCar" or other similar flying vehicles.

"I do believe we will see full electric or at least hybrid vehicles of this, or similar kind, in the near future, contributing to our environmental sustainability targets," Kourousis said.

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