Flying Car Inventor Survives Test Flight Crash

A flying car pilot and inventor managed to walk away unharmed from an emergency crash of an Aeromobil prototype

2 min read
Flying Car Inventor Survives Test Flight Crash
Photo: Aeromobil

A flying car dream came temporarily crashing down to Earth for one inventor and his company during a test flight accident last Friday. The good news is that Stefan Klein, pilot and inventor of the Aeromobil flying car prototype, managed to survive the crash unscathed after he activated an emergency parachute system.

The accident occurred during a test flight of the Aeromobil 3.0, a prototype flying car that resembles the front of a car chassis with collapsible wings and a light aircraft’s tail. Aeromobil did not share details about exactly what happened during the flight held near Nitra Janíkovce airport in Slovakia on 8 May. But eyewitness accounts in a Slovakian news source cited by Gizmodo mentioned the vehicle going into a tailspin. That loss of control prompted Klein, the pilot, to activate the plane’s “advanced ballistic parachute system” at an altitude of about 300 meters.

imgThe Aeromobil 3.0’s parachute deployed, but it was still damaged in the crash.Photo: MH/

“The system has proved itself fully functional and landed the entire vehicle without any injury to the pilot,” according to an Aeromobil statement. “The detailed data and overall experience from this test flight will be thoroughly analyzed and the results will be used in the ongoing R&D and improvements of the prototype.”

Photos taken at the scene show visible damage to the carbon-coated steel framework. The Aeromobil website describes the Aeromobil 3.0 as being capable of achieving a top flying speed of 200 kilometers per hour and a top road speed of 160 kilometers per hour.

Aeromobil is not alone in chasing the flying car dream. Massachusetts-based Terrafugia has been leading the pack in the United States with its Transition prototype vehicle. Both the Transition and Aeromobil 3.0 share a similar design as far as both being “roadable” aircraft that require runways for takeoff and landing. That may work well for civilian pilots who don’t want to bother switching between car and airplane at the airport, but it’s still a far cry from the futuristic dream of flying cars for the average commuter’s life.

The Conversation (0)

We Need More Than Just Electric Vehicles

To decarbonize road transport we need to complement EVs with bikes, rail, city planning, and alternative energy

11 min read
A worker works on the frame of a car on an assembly line.

China has more EVs than any other country—but it also gets most of its electricity from coal.

VCG/Getty Images

EVs have finally come of age. The total cost of purchasing and driving one—the cost of ownership—has fallen nearly to parity with a typical gasoline-fueled car. Scientists and engineers have extended the range of EVs by cramming ever more energy into their batteries, and vehicle-charging networks have expanded in many countries. In the United States, for example, there are more than 49,000 public charging stations, and it is now possible to drive an EV from New York to California using public charging networks.

With all this, consumers and policymakers alike are hopeful that society will soon greatly reduce its carbon emissions by replacing today’s cars with electric vehicles. Indeed, adopting electric vehicles will go a long way in helping to improve environmental outcomes. But EVs come with important weaknesses, and so people shouldn’t count on them alone to do the job, even for the transportation sector.

Keep Reading ↓Show less