A flying car that is turning “science fiction into reality” has completed its first ever inter-city flight.
AirCar–a hybrid aeroplane and sportscar–completed a 35 minute test flight between two airports in Slovakia in front of reporters earlier this week.
After landing, at a click of a button, the aircraft transformed into a sports car in under three minutes and was driven by its inventor, Professor Stefan Klein, and co-founder, Anton Zajac, to downtown Bratislava, cutting the typical travel time in half.
“AirCar is no longer just a proof of concept; flying at 8,200ft at a speed of 100knots, it has turned science fiction into a reality” added Mr Zajac.
Prof Klein, who says the AirCar can complete 600-mile journeys in the air, described the flight as “normal” and “very pleasant”.
In the air, the vehicle reached a cruising speed of 105mph using its BMW engine and running on regular petrol-pump fuel.
It can carry two people, with a combined weight limit of 200kg (31 stone).
The AirCar needs a runway to take off and land, unlike rival air taxis or drones.
Dr Stephen Wright, senior research fellow in avionics and aircraft, at the University of the West of England, described the AirCar as “the lovechild of a Bugatti Veyron and a Cesna 172”.
“I have to admit that this looks really cool – but I’ve got a hundred questions about certification,” Dr Wright said.
“Anyone can make an aeroplane but the trick is making one that flies and flies and flies for the thick end of a million hours, with a person on board, without having an incident.
“I can’t wait to see the piece of paper that says this is safe to fly and safe to sell.”
The company behind AirCar, Klein Vision, says the prototype has taken about two years to develop and cost “less than €2m (£1.7m)” in investment.