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BBC Autos

The Roundabout Blog

In Slovakia, the Aeromobil flying car makes good

About the author

Editor of BBC Autos, Matthew is a former editor at Automobile Magazine and the creator of the digital-only Roadtrip Magazine. His automotive and travel writing has appeared in such magazines as Wired, Popular Science, The Robb Report and Caribbean Travel + Life. He lives in Los Angeles with his wonderful wife and four-year-old daughter.

 

HIDE CAPTION

With the video telephone and jetpack now conquered, humankind seems bound and determined to make good on another age-old promise: the flying car.

On the heels of the Transition, a prototype air-car created by US-based Terrafugia, comes the Aeromobil, a roadworthy flying car from Slovakia. During testing this week, Version 2.5 of this shapely two-seater proved that it can indeed acquit itself on both road and runway.

The latest prototype in a series that dates to 1990, the Aeromobil 2.5 features carbon fibre body work over a steel chassis. A Rotax 912 light-aircraft power plant – a horizonally opposed 1,211cc four-cylinder engine producing about 100 horsepower – supplies the propulsion on land through the front wheels, and in the air via a three-blade pusher prop. Cruising range (on premium-grade pump gasoline, notes Aeromobil) is 310 miles on land and 430 miles in the air.

The car’s insect-like wings, which sweep back against the body in driving mode, extend to a 27ft span for flight mode. The entire machine tips the scales at a scant 992lbs.

Hardly content with the success of version 2.5, Aeromobil co-founder and head designer Štefan Klein is hard at work on the more comely and refined Aeromobil 3.0 – which, if Klein has his way, will enter series production in the near future. Interested driver-pilots may want to brush up on their radio patter now.

In the meantime, have a look at Aeromobil’s video of Version 2.5 doing its thing.