If it flies... it must be a car

The Slovak-built Aeromobil 2.5, which has just had its first test flight, could be going into production and coming to an airport near you soon.
The Slovak-built Aeromobil 2.5, which has just had its first test flight, could be going into production and coming to an airport near you soon.

A Slovak designer has completed the first test flight of the Aeromobil Version 2.5, the latest pre-prototype of a flying car he has been honing to perfection for 20 years.

The car first drove along regular highways, then took to the air.

On the ground, the Aeromobil's insect-like wings are folded straight back along the fuselage and the engine drives the front wheels. In the air, a three-blade propeller provides propulsion.

The Slovak built Aeromobil 2.5
The Slovak built Aeromobil 2.5

There is room for two people in the cockpit and there are two steering wheels; one for driving on the ground and a smaller wheel for flying. The vehicle weighs a mere 450 kilograms without fuel and passengers on board.

The latest prototype is driven by a Rotax 912 light-aircraft power plant - a four-cylinder engine turning out about 74kW.

Design Stefan Klein says the current Aeromobil is close to the 3.0 production version which he hopes will go into series production soon.

A graduate of Slovak University of Technology, Klein has headed research projects for Audi, Volkswagen and BMW.

On its home page, Aeromobil says the flying car fits into a standard parking space and can refuel at any service station. "It is fully accustomed to road traffic and, as a plane, can take off and land at any airport in the world," reads the blurb.

Klein is not the only engineer working towards the world's first commercially viable flying car. US-based Terrafugia is developing a fixed-wing model reminiscent of a small spaceship.

The Slovak built Aeromobil 2.5
The Slovak built Aeromobil 2.5


-AAP

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