Flying car makes landmark intercity journey
Prague, Jun 30 (EFE).- A convertible flying car with deployable wings took to the sky for 35 minutes in Slovakia, covering a distance of 80 kilometers (50 miles) in a third of the time it would take to drive.
The hybrid AirCar is the first prototype vehicle of its kind to make an intercity journey, taking off from Nitra and landing at Bratislava airport before taking a drive around the center of the Slovakian capital late Tuesday.
The AirCar flew at an average speed of 170kmh (105mph), although it has a maximum cruising speed of 190kmh at an altitude of 8,200ft (2,499m).
The dual-mode vehicle is powered by a 160HP BMW engine with a fixed-propeller and is equipped with a ballistic parachute.
“This flight starts a new era of dual transportation vehicles. It opens a new category of transportation and returns the freedom originally attributed to cars back to the individual,” said Stefan Klein, AirCar’s developer, after stepping out of the cockpit.
“It has turned science fiction into a reality,” he added in a statement.
The vehicle was accompanied in the air by two light aircraft. After landing at Bratislava international airport, the wings and the tail assembly mechanically retracted, returning it to a more conventional car-like form.
Klein then drove from the airport to the center of Bratislava.
The professor plans to follow up this prototype with another, faster model, which he hopes can obtain certification from the European Union Aviation Safety Agency.EFE