We’ve been covering the filming of the upcoming special episode of The Grand Tour for almost two weeks now, and while the majority of it has followed the show template we’re used to – a road trip across a country – according to a source of Grand Tour Nation in Slovakia, this episode has taken a different turn.
“They also tested the flying AirCar at the airport in Piešťany. Apparently it was driven by James May because you need a pilot’s license to fly an AirCar, which James has,” Grand Tour Nation was told.
The Grand Tour team have travelled through Poland after arriving early last week in Gdansk. The trip saw them visit a number of areas such as the city of Poznan where Richard Hammond crashed. They then carried on to a German prisoner of war camp before crossing the boarder and visiting the likes of Czechia and Slovakia.
It was in Slovakia, specifically the Piešťany airport, where James drove the AirCar.
Powered by a 1.6-litre BMW engine, the AirCar has been issued a certificate of airworthiness by Slovakia’s Transport Authority. the Slovakian company achieved its first intercity flight in June 2021 where it hit speeds of 170 kilometers per hour (105 mph) over a distance of 1,000km. Once in the land, a single press of a button transforms it into a car.
KleinVision, the makers of the AirCar, said the following:
“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.
“After obtaining the type certificate, it can manufacture the aircraft commercially.”
This isn’t the first time James May has flown something of this sort for a TV show. Top Gear saw him fly a caravan airship as well as his own Cessna 182 Airplane. Thanks to his pilot’s license, this hopefully won’t be the last time we see him in the air.