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.
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.