The Federal Aviation Administration of the United States has certified a flying automobile prototype.
The car is the first totally electric vehicle that can both fly and travel on roads to be approved by the US government. Alef Automotive, a California start-up, claims that its vehicle/aircraft, called the “Model A,” is the first flying vehicle that can drive on public roads and park like a regular car. It is also capable of vertical takeoff and landing. It will reportedly be capable of carrying one or two passengers and will have a driving range of 200 miles and a flying range of 110 miles.
The car will be sold for $300,000 each, with the first deliveries scheduled for the end of 2025. The FAA acknowledged that it had granted the corporation a special airworthiness certificate, which allows for limited uses such as exhibition and research and development. Several businesses are developing all-electric VTOLs (vehicle takeoff and landing aircraft).
According to the FAA, Alef is “not the first aircraft of its kind” to receive a special airworthiness certificate. However, Alef highlighted that its vehicle is unique in that it can operate both on roads and in the air, seem as a normal automobile, and park in a conventional parking space.
“We’re thrilled to have received this FAA certification.” It enables us to go closer to providing people with a more ecologically friendly and speedier journey, saving individuals and businesses hours each week. “This is one small step for planes, one giant step for cars,” said Alef CEO Jim Dukhovny.
According to the company’s website, the flying car will be classified as a “low speed vehicle,” which means it won’t be allowed to travel faster than 25 miles per hour on paved roads.
“The assumption is that if a driver requires a faster route, he or she will use Alef’s flight capabilities,” the business stated on its website.
The vehicle has been in development since 2015. Inspired by the “Back to the Future” films, four friends, Constantine Kisly, Pavel Markin, Oleg Petrov, and Dukhovny, decided to start a firm to try to develop flying automobiles. An early automated test flight of a skeleton form of the car was successfully completed in 2018, and a full-size prototype was flown the following year, according to the company. However, Alef stated that it required the FAA’s special airworthiness certificate to continue undertaking research and development. The company also stated that it has received refundable pre-orders for over 400 of the automobiles.
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