Slovakia’s Klein Vision has begun flight testing its AirCar flying sports car as it steps up efforts to certify the vehicle, initially under experimental light aircraft rules. The first prototype, which is powered by a 140 hp BMW motorcycle engine, made a series of flights from Piestany Airport during October, reaching an altitude of almost 1,500 feet.
The gasoline-powered vehicle is the fifth design developed by Professor Stefan Klein, who cofounded the company in 2016 with Anton Zajac, its lead investor and pilot. According to Klein, deliveries to early customers could begin by around mid-2021.
Under its experimental approval, Klein Vision will be limited to producing 100 vehicles per year. However, the company subsequently intends to achieve full EASA certification under ES-23 rules, which will remove this restriction.
The final production aircraft is due to be powered by a new 300-hp engine from South Africa’s Adept Airmotive that should allow the vehicle to achieve its target top speed of just under 125 mph. This engine fully complies with European Union emissions standards.
Klein Vision says that the AirCar will be able to convert from road to flight mode in under three minutes and will require under 1,000 feet to takeoff and land. The 2,325-pound, two-seat vehicle—which features a tail boom and a single pusher propeller—will have a maximum payload of 441 pounds. With fold-out wings stowed, it will fit in most standard garages, Klein says.
According to the company, it expects to spend around €2 million ($2.3 million) completing type certification and will need up to another €4 million to begin production. While it is open to strategic partnership proposals, a spokesperson told FutureFlight that it has sufficient capital to complete the program in-house.