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A prototype flying car made a successful 35-minute test flight from one airport in Slovakia to another, according to a press release. The trip, which happened on Monday, took Klein Vision’s AirCar from Nitra to the capital Bratislava, two cities that sit about 45 miles away.
The press release says the AirCar Prototype 1 has a fixed propeller and is powered by a BMW engine with 160-horsepower. It runs on regular pump fuel and can switch from an aircraft to a car that can drive on the road in a little more than two minutes.
Klein Vision says the vehicle has gone through more than 40 hours of test flights. It’s gotten as high as 8,200 feet in the air, and hit a max speed of almost 120 miles per hour. It took around two years to build at a cost of $2.3 million. As for the downside, those without their own airports would be challenged by the fact the car can’t take off/land vertically, which means it needs a runway.
When it dropped into a Bratislava airport earlier this week it switched into car-mode, and was then driven into the center of the Slovakian capital by the company’s CEO Stefan Klein and co-founder Anton Zajac.
“AirCar is no longer just a proof of concept,” said Zajac through the press release. “It has turned science fiction into a reality.”
Zajac says the company is hoping to get interest from a small group of taxi or airline companies.
“There are about 40,000 orders of aircraft in the United States alone,” he said. “And if we convert five percent of those, to change the aircraft for the flying car—we have a huge market.”
A second prototype is currently being worked on. That one will have a 300-horsepower engine, and is aiming for a 300 kilometer-per-hour cruise speed (186 MPH) with a range well over 600 miles.
Klein Vision’s website states an intention to develop models with three and four seats. It also wants to make twin-engine and amphibious models.
At last year’s Consumer Electronics Show, Uber and Hyundai revealed plans for an electric flying taxi. On Tuesday the CEO of Hyundai’s European unit, Michael Cole, said the company continues to be “very actively” working on that idea, according to CNN.