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Introducing the world’s first gas-powered flying car

Jan. 30, 2022
4 min read
Introducing the world’s first gas-powered flying car
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Flying cars have long been the stuff of futuristic fantasies, but we could someday really join George Jetson in commuting to work in dual-capacity aircraft-cars, at least if this company gets its way.

Klein Vision, a Slovakian aviation company, recently unveiled the “AirCar,” a gasoline-powered flying car that has passed the European Union’s tests for airworthiness.

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(Photo courtesy of klein-vision.com)

Like any old jalopy, the AirCar runs on gas from the pump, but unlike your ‘15 Toyota Corolla, Klein Vision’s sleek new ride can ascend from the road and reach heights of 18,000 feet—about half of the cruising altitude of a commercial jet. While you may not see flying cars whizzing through your neighborhood for a while yet, the AirCar represents a leap forward in making air-and-road hybrid vehicles scalable and practical.

In June, the AirCar completed a 35-minute flight from the Slovakian city of Nitra to the capital of Bratislava, a journey of about 60 miles. After landing at the airport in Bratislava, the vehicle switched to driving mode, a transition of roughly 3 minutes, and continued by road to downtown Bratislava.

(Photo courtesy of klein-vision.com)

The elegantly designed AirCar is the result of more than 100,000 hours of prototyping by a team of Klein Vision engineers, said spokesperson Anton Zajac in the company’s press release. Powered by an engine designed by BMW, the AirCar reaches airspeeds of nearly 200 miles per hours and can travel up to 620 miles on a single tank—nearly the distance between Chicago and Washington, DC. Once in the air, the AirCar is highly agile and capable of tight turns and complex maneuvers.

The Slovak government reportedly subjected the AirCar to 70 hours of intensive in-flight testing and more than 200 take-offs and landings before granting an official certificate of airworthiness. The green light from the Slovakian government means that the AirCar is also compatible with the rigorous standards of the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), the organization that oversees aviation regulations for the EU. "AirCar is no longer just a proof of concept. It has turned science fiction into a reality,” Zajac beamed.

(Photo courtesy of klein-vision.com)

While Klein Vision’s dazzling new vehicle is not the world’s first flying car, the AirCar is the first car-aircraft with the potential for mass scalability, says Kyriakos Kourousis, the chair of the Royal Aeronautical Society. Other major aviation companies, including Pal-V from the Netherlands and the U.S.-based Terrafugia, are planning to test their own flying cars in the coming months, a strong indication that the technology is maturing and becoming more scalable.

The mass adoption of flying cars would spell both positive and negative consequences for urban aesthetics. Dual-mode vehicles would make city streets less congested, but, as a trade-off, they would likely increase noise pollution and block sunlight. Capable of landing on and taking off from the street, dual-mode vehicles would allow police and medical personnel to arrive at the scene of emergencies with unprecedented rapidity. According to Kourosis, flying cars could eventually replace helicopters.

The technology also holds great promise for reducing carbon emissions, as the widespread use of dual-mode vehicles would reduce traffic in intractably congested cities like Los Angeles. As the technology to power cars with electricity improves, battery-powered flying cars could further slash carbon emissions on a large scale. While a pilot’s license is currently required to get behind the wheel of an AirCar, self-driving technology—another field developing with breakneck rapidity—could soon allow non-pilots to operate flying cars.

(Photo courtesy of klein-vision.com)
Featured image by (Photo courtesy of klein-vision.com)
Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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3XEarn 3 Points per $1 spent at Restaurants and Supermarkets
3XEarn 3 Points per $1 spent at Gas Stations, Air Travel and Hotels
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    For a limited time, earn 80,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening

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  • Annual Fee

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Why We Chose It

The Citi Premier’s 3 points per dollar spent across a wide range of popular categories is one of the more lucrative offerings in the world of points and miles. The Citi Premier comes with a $95 annual fee and is currently offering a solid sign up bonus of 80,000 points after you spend $4,000 on purchases within the first three months. It also has some valuable transfer partners to make the most of your rewards. Add in access to Citi Entertainment plus a $100 hotel credit for any single-stay hotel booking that exceeds $500 or more, excluding taxes and fees, booked through the Citi travel website, there are few reasons why the Citi Premier should not be in every traveler’s wallet.

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  • $95 annual fee
  • Lacks travel protections that other travel rewards cards come with
  • For a limited time, earn 80,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Restaurants and Supermarkets
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Gas Stations, Air Travel and Hotels
  • Earn 1 Point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Annual Hotel Savings Benefit
  • 80,000 Points are redeemable for $800 in gift cards when redeemed at thankyou.com
  • No expiration and no limit to the amount of points you can earn with this card
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees on purchases