Slovak Transport Authority awards airworthiness certificate to AirCar

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A dual-mode car-aircraft vehicle called AirCar has been issued a Certificate of Airworthiness by the Slovak Transport Authority.

The AirCar has completed 70 hours of flight testing that meets European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) standards, with over 200 takeoffs and landings, including a full range of flight and performance maneuvers to demonstrate static and dynamic stability in the aircraft mode.

The 1000kg (2,200 lbs)  2-seat dual-mode prototype is powered by 1.6L BMW petrol engine. Development of the AirCar started in 2017.

The flying car has a top speed of 100mph (160km/h) and can fly at a maximum altitude of 8,000ft. The hybrid vehicle takes two minutes and 15 seconds to transform from car into aircraft.

Aircar

A team of eight engineers has spent 100,000 man hours to convert design drawings into mathematical models with CFD analysis calculations, wind tunnel testing, to build the 1:1 design prototype powered by an electric 15KW engine (Image: Aircar)

Engineers at Klein Vision are working on the production version of the AirCar, which the company expects to be certified later this year.

Meanwhile, Netherlands-based Pal-V announced last November it was preparing to begin serial production of its gyrocopter-based flying car, the Liberty, which has a top speed of 180 km/h (110mph), a maximum take-off weight of 910kg (2,000 lbs), a range of 500km (310 miles) and flight endurance of four hours. Pal-V has also agreed with EASA the certification basis for its vehicle.

Professor Stefan Klein, co-founder of Klein Vision, development team leader and the test pilot for AirCar began working on flying cars in the 1980s. He said, “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.

René Molnár, director of the Civil Aviation Division at the Transport Authority of Slovakia said, “The Transportation Authority carefully monitored all stages of AirCar development. 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.”

Testing of a more powerful and lightweight engine being supplied by South African company Adept Airmotive for the production model have been completed, and its design finalized. The upcoming monocoque model will feature a variable pitch propeller expected to reach speeds over 186 mph (300km/h) and have a range of 1,000km (620 miles).

“Adept Airmotive is proud to have our ecologically compliant engines selected to power this exciting and innovative project,” said Richard Schulz, founder, Adept Airmotive.


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Ben has worked as a journalist and editor, covering technology, engineering and industry for the last 20 years. Initially writing about subjects from nuclear submarines to autonomous cars to future design and manufacturing technologies, he was editor of a leading UK-based engineering magazine before becoming editor of Aerospace Testing in 2017.

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