Flying cars edge towards takeoff after Chinese production deal

A flying car that’s certified for aviation just took another big step towards commercialisation.

The Aircar’s creator, KleinVision, today announced the sale of a “groundbreaking” license to manufacture the vehicle.

The deal gives China’s Hebei Jianxin Flying Car Technology Co exclusive rights to the system within a specific, undisclosed region. Also undisclosed is the cost of the license.

KleinVision said the agreement brings flying cars closer to reality.

The Slovakian startup already has a certificate of airworthiness for its tech, which transforms from a car into a plane in under three minutes.

Aircar had to conduct 70 hours of flight testing and over 200 take-offs and landings to get the certificate.

The vehicle has also successfully flown between cities. In 2021, the dual-mode vehicle completed a 35-minute trip between the Slovakian airports in Nitra and Bratislava.

Powered by a BMW 1.6l engine, the flying car has a top speed of 300km/h and a range of 1,000km.

Its eye-catching performance and looks recently caught the attention of YouTuber Mr Beast.

Flying cars prepare for takeoff

KleinVision now aims to obtain the European Aviation Safety Agency’s CS-32 certificate, which would remove restrictions on production numbers.

Anton Zajac, the startup’s cofounder, said Aircar is also getting an engine upgrade. The new version will have an aviation engine that doubles the power output.

“This will increase the cruising speed, shorten the takeoff distance and increase the safety of the product,” Zajac told TNW via email.

“On top of this, the production model will be made of a single shell (monocoque) which will provide entire structural support.”

Klein Vision founders Stefan Klein and Anton Zajac standing next to the AirCar
Zajac (right) alongside KleinVision co-founder and CEO Stefan Klein. Credit: KleinVision

The deal with Hebei Jianxin comes amid a concerted push in China to commercialise flying cars. Not all the aircraft under development are equal, however.

Zajac highlighted the differences between fixed-wingers like the AirCar and VTOL (Vertical TakeOff and Landing) vehicles.

“VTOL are very energy inefficient and are relatively slow and short range while AirCar is fast, long-range, and very energy efficient,” he said.

“AirCar represents state-of-the-art product that currently has no competition in China or even globally.”

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