Flying car’s first inter-city flight hailed as ‘new era’ of transport

30 June 2021, 11:36 | Updated: 30 June 2021, 13:50

Klein Vision show clip of flying car completing first-ever intercity flight from Nitra to Bratislava

By Daisy Stephens

Developers are hailing a “new era” of transport after a flying car completed its first inter-city flight.

The AirCar by Slovakia-based company Klein Vision completed a 35-minute journey from Nitra to Bratislava in the country at around 6am on Monday morning.

"This flight starts a new era of dual-transportation vehicles,” said AirCar inventor Professor Stefan Klein.

“It opens a new category of transportation and returns the freedom originally attributed to cars back to the individual."

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The AirCar has now completed up to 40 hours of test flights, with this journey taking about 35 minutes
The AirCar has now completed up to 40 hours of test flights, with this journey taking about 35 minutes. Picture: Klein Vision

The dual-transport vehicle, that Klein Vision co-founder Anton Zajac said “turned science fiction into a reality”, uses wings that fold away in less than three minutes and a propellor at its rear, and runs on regular petrol fuel.

The car has now completed more than 40 hours of test flights at altitudes of up to 8,200 ft and with a cruising speed of 118mph, although creators say the AirCar’s new, pre-production model will be will be capable of cruising speeds of 186mph and of flying distances of just over 600 miles.

KleinVision flying car prototype seen on display in Shanghai

Michael Cole, the president and chief executive of South Korean car maker Hyundai's European operations, said on Tuesday that flying cars will be deployed in cities by the end of the decade.

Speaking at a conference organised by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders, Mr Cole said: "There's some time before we can really get this off the ground.

"But we think that by the latter part of this decade certainly, urban air mobility will offer great opportunity to free up congestion in cities, to help with emissions, whether that's intra-city mobility in the air or whether it's even between cities.

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"If you'd asked me a few years ago were flying cars something that I would see in my lifetime, I wouldn't have believed it.

"But it's part of our future solution of offering innovative, smart mobility solutions."