AeroMobil has achieved key airworthiness targets in flight testing for its two-seat 4.0 flying car as it progresses toward completing certification under EASA’s CS-23 regulations before the end of 2023. The Slovakia-based private company is also seeking European approval for the 4.0 as an M1-category road vehicle and will later seek U.S. certification from the FAA.
Flight testing of the folding-wing design began in September 2020 and has so far involved three fully functioning prototypes. AeroMobil started the EASA type certification process in 2019 and this week reported that it has conducted over 300,000 hours of engineering work and more than 10,000 hours of “virtual” and “real” testing.
During the latest round of flight tests, the 4.0 achieved its top-speed target of 160 mph and a stall speed of around 60 kts (69 mph). It also demonstrated its ability to take off in just 1,300 feet. Flight testing is due to continue to meet the remaining CS-23 certification requirements, with some minor design changes anticipated to optimize performance.
Powered by a turbocharged 300 bhp internal combustion engine, the 4.0 offers a flying range of up to around 460 miles and a driving range of up to 620 miles. The company says it aspires to offer luxury car levels of comfort, and its engineering and design team has extensive experience with leading manufacturers such as BMW, Aston Martin, McLaren, Mercedes-Benz, and Ferrari. The team also draws on aerospace professionals from companies such as Lockheed Martin, Rolls-Royce, Airbus, and Diamond Aircraft.
In 2020, AeroMobil opted to suspend work on a larger four-seat 5.0 model and concentrate its resources on the 4.0. However, it still says it expects to bring the 5.0 to market in 2025.
According to AeroMobil CEO Patrick Hessel, the company is looking to select partners to supply key components for the production vehicle. Its business plan calls for it to subcontract final assembly.
In September 2019, AeroMobil revealed plans for an eVTOL aircraft designated as the 6.0, but this too seems to have been deprioritized in favor of getting the first flying car to market.
The company said it is trying to determine what range and payload to focus on with options for carrying between one and four passengers on distances of 20 to 45 miles.