After Japan, Slovakia certifies Europe’s first flying car

Klein Vision hopes to be able to market the first consumer models during the year 2023, which would be a great first.

Next-generation small aircraft are all the rage right now. For some time now, we have seen a large number of innovative projects and concepts flourish in the four corners of the industry. We can for example cite the futuristic machines of Joby, Airspeeder or Volocopter. The Slovak company Klein Vision goes against this trend by taking up a slightly older concept, but just as interesting: a good old-fashioned flying car, which has just passed the certification milestone. official.

Soberly baptized AirCar, this machine is above all a car that works thanks to a standard combustion engine signed BMW. But its real peculiarity is that it can transform into an aircraft in just over two minutes. Once in the air, it is able to fly at a cruising speed of about 160 km/h up to 2.5 km altitude. And it will soon be able to do so in complete freedom (or almost) in Slovak airspace.

The first official certification of this type in Europe

Indeed, the Slovak Transport Authority has just issued it with an airworthiness certificate which attests to its reliability in flight. This is the very first time that such a vehicle has received official certification in Europe, after Japan last November. To obtain it, Klein Vision engineers had to show off its capabilities for more than 70 hours of testing under the uncompromising eyes of reviewers. The latter imposed on them more than 200 take-offs and landings as well as tests of autonomy, maneuverability and stability in a dynamic environment.

Now they will have to take it to the next level. After their national authorization, they are now aiming for European certification. This must be issued to them by the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), the European aeronautics regulator. Klein has not yet communicated on the duration of the process, but its co-founder Anton Zajac seems confident in any case. “The certification [nationale] demonstrated our ability to offer a technologically sound flying car that complies with EASA safety standards” he explains in an interview with Interesting Engineering.

A commercial version from 2023?

But before setting out to conquer the European market, Klein Vision first wants to lay the foundations for its small-scale business model. But no question of doing it with the current engine, which was only a temporary solution. Its engineers are already working on a second prototype, called P2. This will be entitled to a unibody construction which will make it lighter and more aerodynamic. It will also have a new engine specially designed for aviation. The latter would already be very advanced and already tested exhaustively in the laboratory; Zajac explains that the first tests in real conditions on board the P2 will start very soon, with the hope of obtaining all the necessary authorizations in early 2023.

If all goes well, the production model could therefore arrive on the Slovak market in just over a year, and then throughout Europe thereafter. Note however that Mr. and Mrs. All-the-World will not be able to use it to visit the hinterland, since it will still be necessary to be able to justify a pilot’s license. No question of going for loops just out of driving school!

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