Nearly 50 years after James Bond’s flying AMC Hornet hatchback took to the air in The Man with the Golden Gun, a Slovakian inventor has been granted a Certificate of Airworthiness for a real flying car by the Slovak Transport Authority.

Klein Vision’s AirCar dual-mode vehicle completed 70 hours of flight, over 200 take-offs and landings and conducted the full range of flight and performance manoeuvres. Klein Vision said take-off and landing procedures were achieved without the pilot’s need to touch the flight controls.

Professor Stefan Klein, the inventor, leader of the development team and test pilot, says, “AirCar certification opens the door for mass production of very efficient flying cars. It is official and the final confirmation of our ability to change mid-distance travel forever.”

With the prototype powered by a BMW 1.6 litre engine, AirCar has an estimated travel range of 1,000km, and can reach speeds up to 200 km/h. Conversion from road to air mode takes just a few minutes, with the wings lifting up and out from car’s flanks.

René Molnár, the director of the Transport Authority of Slovakia’s Civil Aviation Division outlines the certification process. “Transportation Authority carefully monitored all stages of unique AirCar development from its start in 2017. The transportation safety is our highest priority. AirCar combines top innovations with safety measures in line with EASA standards. It defines a new category of a sports car and a reliable aircraft. Its certification was both a challenging and fascinating task.”

Klein Vision added that it has completed tests of a new, lightweight monocoque model featuring an aviation engine and variable pitch propeller which is expected to reach speeds of over 300km/h and offer a range of 1,000km.