A Chinese firm has acquired the technology behind a groundbreaking flying car originally developed and successfully test-flown in Europe, according to a report on the BBC.

The AirCar, powered by a BMW engine using conventional fuel, made headlines in 2021 when it completed a 35-minute flight between two Slovakian airports, using runways for take-off and landing. Impressively, it only took just over two minutes for the vehicle to transform from a car into an aircraft.

Now, vehicles based on the AirCar’s design are set to be deployed within a specific geographical region of China. Hebei Jianxin Flying Car Technology Company, based in Cangzhou, has secured exclusive rights to manufacture and operate AirCar aircraft within an undisclosed area. The company has even constructed its own airport and flight school following a previous acquisition from another Slovak aircraft manufacturer, as revealed by Anton Zajac, cofounder of KleinVision, the company behind AirCar’s creation.

China, having been at the forefront of the electric vehicle revolution, is now actively pursuing solutions for flying transportation. Recently, Autoflight conducted a test flight of a passenger-carrying drone between the cities of Shenzhen and Zhuhai, completing a journey that typically takes three hours by car in just 20 minutes, although no passengers were aboard.

Additionally, in 2023, eHang, a Chinese firm, received a safety certificate from Chinese officials for its electric flying taxi. Meanwhile, the UK government anticipates that flying taxis could become a common sight in the skies by 2028.

However, unlike vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) passenger aircraft like those developed by Autoflight and eHang, AirCar requires a runway for operation.

How well do you really know your competitors?

Access the most comprehensive Company Profiles on the market, powered by GlobalData. Save hours of research. Gain competitive edge.

Company Profile – free sample

Thank you!

Your download email will arrive shortly

Not ready to buy yet? Download a free sample

We are confident about the unique quality of our Company Profiles. However, we want you to make the most beneficial decision for your business, so we offer a free sample that you can download by submitting the below form

By GlobalData
Visit our Privacy Policy for more information about our services, how we may use, process and share your personal data, including information of your rights in respect of your personal data and how you can unsubscribe from future marketing communications. Our services are intended for corporate subscribers and you warrant that the email address submitted is your corporate email address.

KleinVision declined to disclose the financial details of the technology sale although AirCar was granted a certificate of airworthiness by the Slovak Transport Authority in 2022.

Despite the advancements in flying car technology, significant challenges remain in terms of infrastructure, regulation, and public acceptance. Aviation consultant Steve Wright told the BBC that the emergence of personal air transport presents new regulatory questions for global authorities to address, with attempts to fit these innovations into existing frameworks sometimes proving challenging.

Wright suggested that China’s approach to innovation may provide an opportunity to advance the sector more rapidly, drawing parallels to the country’s leadership in the EV market. While prototypes like AirCar capture imaginations, the practical realities of air travel are likely to involve more mundane elements such as queues and baggage checks, Wright added.

Would you pay $200 to reduce a car journey by 43 minutes?