Updated: Nov 12, 2020
Written by Aneesha Sengupta
Your phone pings after hours of silence. It’s your friend, asking you to stand by your window at 8 pm. There's only one thing that can mean — he’s flying past in his metal green jaguar and wishes to hover by for a short chat. It’s only 7:50 pm, so you wait there, watching flying cars with beautiful headlights zoom by. Sounds like a science-fiction plot? It isn’t as imaginary as you think.
Total Recall, The Man with the Golden Gun, and the Back to The Future series, to name a few, have all been placed under the genre of fiction. But the next movie with a winged car aloft might make it into a different genre — maybe even a documentary. An automobile that’s both an airplane and a car is in the spotlight at the moment. This vehicle recently covered 1,500 feet smoothly in the air over Slovakia as part of a test flight by the Slovakian company KleinVision.
Weighing a mere 1.1 tonnes and consuming just 18 L/h, this car is a dream come true. The ‘AirCar’ is powered by a BMW 1.6 L engine and has an effective power output of 140 HP. Despite such modest specifications, this new wonder can airlift you within a takeoff track length of 300 m, reaching speeds up to 200km/h. The wonders don’t end there; you can watch your car sprout wings while you are comfortably seated in it. This car can be converted into an airplane in under three short minutes!
It is imperative to bring up the stunning exterior and interior of the AirCar. The aerodynamic attachments only add to its graceful appearance. You may be picturing a bulky, unpleasant car but it’s quite the contrary. With a compact and sleek body paired with a minimalistic style, this elegant white car is rather ahead of its time (definitely ready to compete with the Batmobile).
Professor Klein (the inventor, founder, and CEO of KleinVision) and his associates have successfully designed a vehicle with commendable stability, safety features, and the perfect weight — neither too light for a road-bound car nor too heavy to fly. After working diligently for almost 30 years, the firm is now hopeful that their latest project will hit the road in large numbers. They claim that “the car is suitable for self-driven journeys or as a commercial taxi service.” In fact, they already have an anonymous buyer!
Some part of you might be wondering whether this vehicle is going to make it into your garage (assuming you’ve got cash overflowing from your bank accounts). Or, like other previous attempts (the Fulton Airphibian, Curtiss Autoplane, or even the 1970 Aerocar), will this AirCar forever remain only in museums? In 1940, after his research efforts tanked because of dismissal from higher authorities, Henry Ford left us with the words — "Mark my word: a combination airplane and motorcar is coming”. Lucky for you and me, the AirCar has a much greater likelihood of making it to mass-manufacturing and showrooms galore, owing to advancements in technology, smarter engineers, and more open-minded governments.
The AirCar is an excellent reason to be hyped and happy amidst these melancholy days of 2020. Picture yourself in 2050. Wouldn’t it be disappointing to reminisce about the year 2020 and not have flying cars in the frame? It looks like that is sorted now.
You can watch the videos of the KleinVision AirCar below!