The Civil Aviation Authority in Slovakia has issued an official Certificate of Airworthiness to AirCar, a dual-mode car-aircraft vehicle.
The flight tests included a range of flight and performance manoeuvres that demonstrated static and dynamic stability in the aircraft mode. The takeoff and landing procedures were also achieved without the pilot’s need to touch the flight controls.
It took a team of eight specialists and over 100,000 man-hours to convert design drawings into mathematical models with CFD analysis calculations; wind tunnel testing; a 1:1 design prototype powered by an electric 15KW engine, to a 1,000kg two-seat dual-mode prototype powered by a 1.6L BMW engine that achieved the certification milestone.
“AirCar 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 professor Stefan Klein, the inventor and the test pilot of AirCar.
Anton Zajac, project cofounder, said: “50 years ago, the car was the epitome of freedom. AirCar expands those frontiers, by taking us into the next dimension; where road meets sky.”
René Molnár, director of the Civil Aviation Division (Transport Authority of Slovakia) said: “Transportation Authority carefully monitored all stages of unique AirCar development from its start in 2017. The transportation safety is our highest priority. AirCar combines top innovations with safety measures in line with EASA standards. It defines a new category of a sports car and a reliable aircraft. Its certification was both a challenging and fascinating task”.
Speaking after AirCar’s first intercity flight last year – a 35-minute flight between airports in Nitra and Bratislava, Slovakia – Dr. Branko Sarh, a senior technical fellow at Boeing, noted: “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”.
Klein Vision – the company behind AirCar – has already completed tests of a new powerful, lightweight and efficient ‘ADEPT’ airmotive aviation engine and has also finalised drawings and technical calculations for the upcoming monocoque model, which will feature a variable pitch propeller and is expected to reach speeds over 300km/h and a range of 1,000km.
Richard Schulz, founder, ADEPT Airmotive, said: “ADEPT Airmotive is proud to have our ecologically compliant engines selected to power this exciting and innovative project.”
The new production AirCar model is expected to be certified within the next 12 months.