The Klein Air Car, whose name is a pretty accurate description, took its first meaningful test flight last week and now theoretically heads into the uncharted territory of marketability. The vehicle, which has a pusher prop, folding wings and extendable twin tailbooms, seems to look and behave like both of the modes of transportation its name evokes. It completed two full patterns of an airport in Slovakia, reaching 1500 feet AGL. The latest test flights came after weeks of short hops down the runway. In flight, the Air Car appeared stable and didn’t seem to require any extreme inputs to keep it in the air. “The key flight parameters confirmed all theoretical concepts and calculations that the development of the AirCar was based on,” the company said in a news release. In those theories and math are goals that appear as lofty as the technical achievement of creating an Air Car worthy of the name.
The company is also aiming to make it accessible and easy to fly with a cruise speed in the 150-knot range and a range of 600 miles burning about five gallons an hour. Although it needs a runway, the takeoff run of the production model is estimated at about 1,000 feet. Payload is less than 500 pounds, however. The test model is powered by a BMW 1.6 liter engine but the production Air Cars will have 300-horsepower ADEPT Airmotive V-6 engines. The first models will have two seats but a four-place is planned. Klein is pitching the convenience and practicality of the design. “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,” said spokesman Anton Zajac.