A car that can transform into a winged aircraft, fly between cities and then transform back into a car has earned a Certificate of Airworthiness by the government of Slovakia's Transport Authority. Its makers hope that the flying car might hit the commercial market in 12 months.
Operators of the "AirCar," from Klein Vision will have to be qualified pilots to drive and fly it. The company said in a press release that the vehicle has completed more than 200 takeoffs and landings which meets European Aviation Safety Agency standards.
The "AirCar" is still a concept car, which is powered by a 1.6L BMW engine, CNN reported.
The car's specifications are impressive. As Top Gear notes, the "AirCar" can fly up to 8,200 feet and cruise in the air at 118 mph.
Professor Stefan Klein, the inventor of the "AirCar" said, “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,” Top Gear reported.
The Royal Aeronautical Society's Airworthiness and Maintenance Specialist Group said this isn't the first time similar types of flying cars have been certified. Kyriakos Kourousis, the chair of the Royal Aeronautical Societytold CNNthat it's the scale of this newest vehicle that could create opportunities for employment and new technologies to be developed.
Kourousis indicated that Klein Vision still has a business case to be made before their car can reach the commercial market.
There is also an environmental concern if the cars continue to use combustion engines, which are proven technology but could have climate consequences.
"The environmental impact can be substantial if the utilization of such vehicles is scaled up, especially in urban settings," Kourousis said.
As CNN reported, the flying car completed a 35-minute test flight in June between the airport in Nitra, Slovakia and the capital city of Bratislava.