Flying cars AirCar and PAL-V Liberty have passed tests which will put the new urban air mobility sector on the road to take off.
AirCar (V5) – a new generation flying car which transforms from road vehicle into air vehicle in less than three minutes – has passed flight tests in compliance with EASA regulations. The PAL-V Liberty has become the world’s first flying car to become street legal having been approved for usage on European roads.
Klein Vision’s AirCar can convert from a road vehicle to flight mode at the click of a button. AirCar will be marketed at leisure and self-driving journeys and as a commercial taxi service. The fifth generation flying car designed by Professor Stefan Klein has completed two 1500’ AGL flights at Piestany airport in Slovakia in the last month. The model safely achieved two full airport patterns, including two takeoffs and landings.
The two-seat AirCar weights 1,100kg and can carry additional load of 200kg per flight. The vehicle is powered by a BMW 1.6l engine and has an effective power output of 140HP. The estimated travel range of the vehicle is 1,000km and flight consumption of 18 l/h. AirCar can transform from a ground-based vehicle to aircraft with a takeoff of 300m reaching speeds up to 200 km/h.
Certified AirCar expected in the next six months
Professor Stefan Klein, Klein Vision’s CTO and AirCar test pilot said the stability and controllability of the AirCar would be “accessible to any pilot.” He said: “The key flight parameters confirmed all theoretical concepts and calculations that the development of the AirCar was based on. Following the completion of all required flight tests in compliance with EASA regulations, we will deliver a model with a certified ADEPT, 300HP engine within the next six next months. The good news is, we already have a buyer.”
“With AirCar you will arrive at your destination without the hassle of getting a ride to airport and passing through commercial security, you can drive your AirCar to the golf course, the office, the mall or your hotel and park it in a normal parking space,” added Anton Zajac, Klein Vision’s co-founder, investor and pilot.
PAL-V Liberty uses wind-powered rotor blades
The PAL-V Liberty converts from road-based vehicle to a gyroplane with wind-powered rotor blades. The blades rotate with airflow, acting like a continuously open parachute. PAL-V has been testing the Liberty on test tracks since February and will be undergoing further endurance tests over the coming months. In August, the vehicle successfully passed the road admission tests. Robert Dingemanse, CEO of PAL-V said: “A licence plate is a small thing, but it’s a big step for our company.”
Mike Stekelenburg, CTO of PAL-V, described the challenge behind passing the road test for the Liberty: “With the memories in mind of fly and drive testing our proof of concept, the PAL-V One, I was really looking forward to testing the Liberty. We have been cooperating with the road authorities for many years to reach this milestone. The excitement you feel in the team is huge. It was very challenging to make a “folded aircraft” pass all road admission tests.”
Stekelenburg added: “For me, the trick in successfully making flying car is to ensure that the design complies with both air and road regulations. I feel the energy and motivation in our team to push hard for the last few milestones and get the Liberty certified for flying too.”
The PAL-V will be undergoing endurance testing for the coming months and will be seen on the streets during a Europe-wide roadshow.
Hans Joore, test-driver of the PAL-V, added: “When I fired-up the PAL-V for the first time I really got goosebumps! All the effort that we put into it came together at that crucial moment. Hearing the vehicle come to life was just magnificent and driving it was great. It is very smooth and responsive to the steering and with a weight of just 660 kg it accelerates really well. The overall experience is like a sportscar. It feels sensational.”