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European flying car tech sold to Chinese firm

  • March 29, 2024
  • 2 min read
European flying car tech sold to Chinese firm

The technology behind a ‘flying car’ developed and test-flown in Europe has been bought by a Chinese firm. The BMW-powered AirCar flew for 35 minutes in 2021 between two Slovakian airports, using runways to take off and land. It took just over two minutes as it transformed from a car into ana ircraft.

Now, vehicles made based on its design will be used in a “specific geographical region” of China. Hebei Jianxin Flying Car Technology Company, based in Cangzhou, has bought exclusive rights to manufacture and use AirCar aircraft within an undisclosed area.

The company has built its own airport and flight school following a previous acquisition from another Slovak aircraft manufacturer.

Having been at the cutting edge of electric cars, China is hoping to develop “flying transport solutions.” Last month, a company called Auoflight carried out a test flight of a passenger-carrying drone between Shenzhen and Zhuhai. The journey was completed in 20 minutes, albeit with no passengers. The same journey would be a three hour drive by car.  

In 2023, eHang, another Chinese firm, was given a safety certificate by officials for an electric flying taxi, something that the British government has saif could be a regular feature in the skies by 2028.

However, unlike the drone-like passenger aircraft, AirCar cannot take off or land vertically, needing a runway to get in the air.

KleinVision, the company behind it has not stated how much it sold the technology for. AirCar was issued a certificate of airworthiness  by the Slovak Transport Authority in 2022. There are still hurdles for this type of transport, from infrastructure and regulation, to public acceptance.

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