The AirCar in flight mode, Source: © 2019 Klein Vision

Where road meets sky: Slovak flying car nears production stage

Where road meets sky: Slovak flying car nears production stage

The international race of putting dual-mode aircraft on the market is heating up

Imagine taking your car out of the garage, swerving to the main street, accelerating and at the first green light… taking off! You have seen this scene in the movies about the daredevil exploits of James Bond and Fantômas, and in sci-fi blockbusters such as Back to the Future and Blade Runner. However, this may become a reality quite soon for certain high-earning persons who would only need to obtain a sport pilot certificate on top of their driver’s license.

Licence to fly

AirCar, the car-aircraft hybrid developed by Slovak company Klein Vision, received last week the official Certificate of Airworthiness by the Slovak Transport Authority, meaning its pilot could ask air traffic control for flight permission and path, just like any ordinary aircraft.

The licence to fly was issued when the prototype had successfully completed 70 hours of rigorous flight testing according to European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) standards, the company said in a press release. Over 200 takeoffs and landings were achieved in fully automatic mode, without the pilot needing to touch the flight controls. The aircraft has demonstrated remarkable stability during the implementation of the full range of in-flight maneuvers, including steep 45-degree turns.

Last summer, the 2-seat dual-mode prototype powered by a 1.6L BMW engine completed its first intercity flight, covering the distance between the international airports in Nitra and Bratislava in 35 minutes.

“AirCar’s 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,” said company founder and test pilot Professor Stefan Klein.

AirCar runs on regular petrol-pump fuel, burning about 18 litres per hour of flight. During the tests performed so far, it has flown at an altitude of 2500 m and reached a maximum cruising speed of 190km/h. The market price of the AirCar has been estimated between EUR 500,000 and 750,000.

Klein Vision has announced it is developing a faster monocoque model with variable pitch propeller expected to reach speeds over 300 km/h and range of 1,000 km.

Stiff competition

In a 2019 assessment, Morgan Stanley speculated that the flying car’s sector could be worth $1.5 trillion by 2040. Dozens of companies around the world are scrambling for a share of this market, with variable success. What makes reaching production stage a difficult task is the need to receive certification under both national air and road jurisdictions.


Perhaps the closest concept to the AirCar is that of Transition, a two-seat hybrid with fully foldable wings developed by US company Terrafugia (now owned by a Chinese holding). In January 2021, the Transition received a Special Light-Sport Aircraft (LSA) airworthiness certificate from the FAA, while the US road administration is expected to grant approval this year.

With a flight range of 644 km, speed of 161 km/h, and 19 liters/h consumption of 91 Octane petrol, the Transition is expected to hit the market in 2023 at a highly competitive price of around $ 200 000. Terrafugia is also working on a vertical take-off and landing flying car called TF-X, which will be able to carry cargo alongside passengers.

PAL-V Liberty

Dutch company PAL-V Europe N.V. has ingeniously combined a three-wheeled motorcycle and a gyrocopter in its PAL-V Liberty hybrid currently in production in India. The two-seat, single-engine PAL-V takes off vertically like a helicopter, airborne it flies below 1,200 m, so pilots don’t need to log a flight plan to use it. The 160 kW gasoline engine achieves a top speed of 180 km/h on land and in air.

Parajet Skycar

Parajet Skycar is a lightweight two-seater dune buggy that uses an airplane fan mounted on the back for propulsion and a paraglide-style chute for lift. In fly mode it can reach 129 km/h with a range of 290 km, while on the road it has a top speed of 177 km/h. In 2009, the incredible invention of British engineers successfully accomplished its test mission of 6,000 km from London to Timbuktu in the Sahara Desert. Its basic version costs £40,000, and the sports model - £60,000.



Growing City


Smart City


Green City


Social City


New European Bauhaus




ECP 2021 Winner TheMayorEU