GyroDrive 'flying car'
The GyroDrive is an autogyro modified to be driven on the public road Getty

The race to produce the first commercial flying car has a new contender, as a Czech pilot called Pavel Brezina claims he has produced the world's first vehicle authorised to travel by both road and sky.

Called the GyroDrive, the one-off vehicle is a modified autogyro which can be driven on the public road. It joins a surprisingly busy market full of startups bidding to be the first to sell a flying car to the public.

"This is the only road certified flying vehicle I know about," Brezina told the AFP news agency. "Everyone is trying to make a high-speed car that can fly, but this is a different thing," the 51-year-old added. Brezina has been flying for 30 years and is the owner of Nirvana Systems, a company which produces motors for small flying machines.

Brezina buys autogyros in kit from their German manufacturer, before modifying them so that the wheels are powered by an electric motors, making it drive like a car.

GyroDrive 'flying car'
GyroDrive builder Pavel Brezina refuels his 'flying car' at a roadside petrol station Getty

There is a switch for the driver/pilot to operate either the petrol-powered rotor for flight, or the electric wheels for driving on the road.; once the rotors are folded away and a number plate revealed, the GyroDrive is claimed to be road legal.

The two-seat vehicle has a top speed on the ground of 25mph, but can top just over 110mph in the air; it needs just 100 meters of runway space to takeoff and can fly for a claimed 600km (370 miles) on one tank of petrol.

Brezina is pricing the GyroDrive from 1.5m koruna (£50,000), but depending on specification this can increase to 4m koruna.

AeroMobil Flying car
The AeroMobil Flying Car is available to pre-order now, but the price is unknown and deliveries don't start until 2020 AeroMobil

Competition in the flying car market includes the PAL-V Liberty, which is also based on a gyrocopter design but costs significantly more, at £255,000. But while the Liberty's top flying speed is the same as the GyroDrive, it can travel at a claimed 100mph on the road.

Another rival is the AeroMobil, a flying car from Slovakia which was launched at a glamorous car show in Monaco in April. Morercar-like than the others, this option can hit 224mph in the air and 110mph on the road, thanks to a turbocharged petrol engine. But speed comes at a price - the Aeromobil costs between £1m and £1.3m, with pre-orders open now.