The world’s first flying car to complete an airport-to-airport transit made its debut flight in late June 2021 in what the manufacturer called a “development milestone.”
AirCar, a dual-mode car-aircraft vehicle made by Klein vision, conducted the 35-minute flight from the international airport in Nitra to the international airport in Bratislava, Slovakia on June 28.
At the click of a button, the aircraft transformed into a sports car in under three minutes and was then driven by creator Stefan Klein and co-founder Anton Zajac in what eventually became the aircraft’s 142nd successful landing.
This rendition marks the first prototype of AirCar and comes with a 160-horsepower BMW engine, fixed propeller, and a ballistic parachute. In all, the aircraft has completed over 40 hours of test flights and flown at an altitude of 8,200 feet, reaching a maximum of 118 miles per hour.
“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 Klein in a press release obtained by Snopes.
The creators said that it takes the aircraft from a proof of concept and turns “science fiction into a reality.”
AirCar has been in the process of ground and flight tests since October 2019 before its introduction to the public in November of that same year. According to the Klein Vision website, AirCar is primarily built from advanced composite materials. It has several functional units that include an aerodynamic fuselage with space for passengers, as well as retractable wings, folding tail surfaces, and parachute deployment systems.
AirCar Prototype 1 is the predecessor to the AirCar Prototype 2, which is planned to be equipped with a 300-horsepower engine, a variable pitch propeller, and is anticipated to have a cruise speed of up to 186 miles per hour and a range of 621 miles.
[Correction, June 6, 2021: Updated to clarify that the prototype AirCar was the first flying car to fly airport-to-airport, not the first flying car ever made.]