Is it a bird or is it a plane?
Actually, is it a car or is it a plane?
Both, or neither – I’m just as confused as you are.
It’s called the AirCar, and it just ticked off its first inter-city flight, travelling from the international airport in Nitra, Slovakia, to the international airport in Bratislava.
The flight took 35 minutes, and after landing, at the click of a button, the aircraft transformed into a sports car in less than three minutes.
The AirCar inventor, Professor Stefan Klein, and co-founder, Anton Zajac, then took it for a drive through downtown Bratislava, as one does.
Dr. Branko Sarh, Boeing’s Senior Technical Fellow, explained the concept further to BusinessCloud:
“The automated transition from road vehicle into an air vehicle and vice versa, deploying/retracting wings and tail is not only the result of pioneering enthusiasm, innovative spirit and courage; it is an outcome of excellent engineering and professional knowledge.”
The AirCar Prototype 1 is equipped with a 160HP BMW engine with fixed-propeller and a ballistic parachute… [and] has flown at 8,200ft and reached a maximum cruising speed of 190km/h.
Klein was in fine spirits, saying the flight “starts a new era of dual transportation vehicles [and] opens a new category of transportation and returns the freedom originally attributed to cars back to the individual.”
Sounds like he hates traffic with a passion, and I can get behind that.
Here’s the AirCar in action during that inter-city flight:
The AirCar runs on regular petrol-pump fuel and can carry two people.
Once all of the legally required flight tests have been completed, the plan is to install a more powerful engine, and begin sales to the general public within the next 12 months.
It’s all fun and games until you land it in Cape Town, and can’t find parking anywhere.
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