A eroMobil, the flying car, is the core product of the Slovakia-based company AeroMobil. It has been in development since 1989, when Stefan Klein, the founder and head of the Department of Transport Design at the Academy of Fine Arts in Slovakia began working on a concept of a flying car.
In 2010, Klein joined forces with Juraj Vaculik and established the company with the objective of commercialising the project. The company and the project reached a key milestone during the summer of 2013, when they finished and successfully demonstrated the functionality of the pre-prototype AeroMobil 2.5.
This pre-prototype was certified by the Slovak Federation of Ultra-Light Flying (SFUL) in accordance with authorisation issued by the Civil Aviation Authority of the Slovak Republic. It incorporated most of the key technical features that have been envisioned for the final commercial product and was mostly used for testing and optimisation of the functionality of the core product. The AeroMobil 2.5 pre-prototype was first presented at SAE 2013 AeroTech Congress & Exhibition in Montreal, Canada.
AeroMobil 3.0, an advanced prototype of the flying roadster, was unveiled last year in Vienna during the Pioneers Festival that celebrates entrepreneurship, technology and innovation. AeroMobil 3.0 was designed and manufactured by engineers led by chief designer Klein and CEO Vaculik, with the process being complete just 10 months after the release of the previous pre-prototype.
Klein and Vaculik were very happy with what they were able to achieve in such a short time with the team of only 12 people. Klein acknowledges that AeroMobil 3.0 is not the end of a challenging project, but the beginning of a whole new adventure which may change the way how we look at the personal transport in the future.
The current flying car prototype incorporates significant improvements and upgrades. It is now finalised and has been tested in real flight conditions since October 2014. Initially certified by the Slovak Federation of Ultra-Light Flying, it has now entered a regular flight-testing program. The AeroMobil 3.0 prototype is very close to the initial product. It is predominantly built from the same materials as the final product, such as advanced composite materials for the body shell, wings, and wheels. It also contains all the main features that will be incorporated into the final product, such as avionics equipment, autopilot and an advanced parachute deployment system.
Currently the AeroMobil 3.0 prototype serves two main purposes. First, it will be used to test and improve the final performance, features, and characteristics. Second, it will be used for initial marketing purposes, including presentations at major trade shows. AeroMobil was recently introduced to the public at Top Marques Monaco, the world’s most exclusive supercar show.
AeroMobil 3.0 has also started to fulfil the programme of flight tests by executing 21 takeoffs and landings after short flights at low altitude. It has also completed full 20km-circles at altitudes from 250 to 650 meters in the area of Nitra airport, Slovakia.
The AeroMobil 3.0 prototype has been developed with a view to enabling the company to certify the vehicle in the European Union, according to the existing car and airplane regulatory requirements for a small series category M1 car and small aircraft.
AeroMobil was designed in a way to fit into existing road infrastructure. Its size is comparable to a limousine or a large luxury sedan. It has low maintenance costs and can be parked in regular parking slots. It uses standard gasoline and so can be fuelled at regular gas stations. AeroMobil also implements a number of other advanced technologies, such as a variable angle of attack of the wings, which significantly boosts the efficiency of take-off and shortens the take-off requirements, and sturdy suspension, which enables take-off and landing at relatively rough terrain.
…the beginning of a whole new adventure which may change the way how we look at the personal transport in the future…
AeroMobil 3.0 is a vehicle dedicated mostly to examining the characteristics of the object. We have achieved stable flight; tested the method of takeoff, the variable angle of attack; and shown that the distant propeller works without vibration over a wide range of revs.
In the near future we will be testing many other options for the engine including hybrid design and different transmission systems. We also plan to test the wing profiles to achieve better capabilities, speed and power.
AeroMobil will inspire new ways of thinking about personal travel, if not advance it to a whole new level.