BRATISLAVA – Slovakia’s Transport Authority said it had issued a certificate of airworthiness for flying car model AirCar, a first step towards commercial production of the invention.
“AirCar certification opens the door for mass production of very efficient flying cars,” said Stefan Klein, founder and chief executive of KleinVision, a company that designed and manufactured the prototype of the dual-mode car-aircraft vehicle.
“It is an official and final confirmation of our ability to change mid-distance travel forever,” Klein said in a press release.
AirCar completed its first intercity flight in June 2021.
The vehicle is powered by a 1.6-litre BMW engine and needs a runway only 300 meters long to take off.
It has a flight speed of up to 170 kilometres per hour and a flying distance of 1,000 kilometres.
The process of transforming from car to plane takes less than three minutes.
Everything is automated, so a single button command is all it takes to change it.
Before certification, the Slovak flying car had to complete 70 hours of flight testing, with more than 200 take-offs and landings, KleinVision said.
“Based on the fact that the aircraft met the conditions of national regulations set for individually manufactured aircraft and the required level of safety was demonstrated, the Slovak Transport Authority (STA) has issued a special certificate of airworthiness,” STA director Rene Molnar told AFP.
According to Molnar, after STA has issued the certification, AirCar can apply for aircraft-type certification.
“After obtaining the type certificate, it can manufacture the aircraft commercially,” he added.
More than 100 Catholic Church officials in Germany came out as LGBT, queer or non-binary on Monday, adding to calls for reform within the crisis-hit church.
Demands for a more liberal attitude to homosexuality within the German church have coincided with uproar over reports of widespread child sex abuse by Catholic clergymen in the country, including allegations of cases where former pope Benedict XVI failed to act.
The 125-strong group, which includes priests and workers in education and administration, published a statement demanding an end to the “discrimination and exclusion” they had experienced.
“I don’t want to hide my sexual identity anymore,” Uwe Grau, a priest in the diocese of Rottenburg-Stuttgart, was quoted on the group’s website as saying.
“We are part of the church,” added Raphaela Soden, who works in pastoral care for young adults and identifies as queer and non-binary. “We always have been. It’s time to finally make it clear that we exist and how wonderfully queer the body of Christ is.”
The statement called for “free access to all pastoral vocations”, and an end to what the signatories called a “system of concealment, double standards, and dishonesty” surrounding LGBT issues.
“Entering into a non-heterosexual relationship or marriage must never be considered a breach of loyalty and, consequently, an obstacle to employment or a reason for dismissal,” they said.
The issue of homosexuality has caused a major rift in the Catholic Church between modernisers and conservatives.