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European Flying Car Technology Sold To China

A Chinese firm has acquired the technology behind a flying car, originally developed and successfully test-flown in Europe.

The AirCar, powered by a BMW engine and conventional fuel, completed a 35-minute flight between two Slovakian airports in 2021, utilizing runways for take-off and landing. Its transformation from car to aircraft took just over two minutes.

Hebei Jianxin Flying Car Technology Company, based in Cangzhou, has obtained exclusive rights to manufacture and operate AirCar aircraft within a specified area in China.

Anton Zajac, co-founder of KleinVision, the company behind AirCar, noted that the Chinese firm has established its own airport and flight school following a prior acquisition from another Slovak aircraft manufacturer.

China, having pioneered the electric vehicle revolution, is now actively exploring flying transport solutions. Recently, a company called Autoflight conducted a test flight of a passenger-carrying drone between Shenzhen and Zhuhai, completing a journey that typically takes three hours by car in just 20 minutes.

In 2023, the Chinese company eHang received a safety certificate from Chinese authorities for its electric flying taxi. Meanwhile, the UK government anticipates flying taxis could become a regular sight in the skies by 2028.

Unlike vertical take-off and landing drone-like passenger aircraft, AirCar requires a traditional runway.

Although KleinVision did not disclose the sale price, AirCar received a certificate of airworthiness from the Slovak Transport Authority in 2022 and was featured in a video by YouTuber Mr. Beast earlier this year.

Despite the excitement surrounding this form of transportation, significant hurdles remain, including infrastructure development, regulatory frameworks, and public acceptance.

Aviation consultant Steve Wright commented that the emergence of personal flying transport is reshaping the landscape, with global efforts to regulate the sector resulting in new challenges.

Regarding China’s role, Wright suggested that the country might view this as an opportunity to lead, akin to its dominance in the electric car market.

While prototypes like AirCar offer excitement, the reality of flying transport may involve mundane elements such as queues and baggage checks, according to Wright.

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