Alef Aeronautics gets FAA approval to launch its flying car

California’s Alef Aeronautics is working on an electric flying car. The two-seater Model A can drive on public roads and take off and land vertically. According to the manufacturer, the road range is 200, the flight range 110 miles.

That is the equivalent of 320 and 177 kilometres. Founded in 2015, Alef Aeronautics says it has now received a so-called Special Airworthiness Certificate from the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). “This certificate allows the aircraft to be used for limited purposes, including exhibition, research and development,” the agency said in a statement, adding this was not the first aircraft of its kind to receive said certificate. Indeed, it is the second company to get the approval after the FAA granted the same certificate to Toyota-backed Joby Aviation last month. However, Alef beholds that its eVTOL doubles as the “first real flying car” to be certified to fly since similar models that have received approval in recent years can fly, but not fit on regular roads or in parking spaces.

As for Alef’s Model A, the developers emphasise it is a street-legal sports car that can ride on roads and park in a standard parking space. However, apart from four wheels integrated into the frame it has eight hidden propellers and a gimbaled, that is pivoted, driving cabin to stabilize the driver and passenger. Once in the air, the vehicle’s frame rotates sideways by 90 degrees so that the front and back of the car become two wings on either side of the cabin for maximum speed.

At the same time, the eVTOL is technically considered a “low-speed vehicle” that won’t be able to drive faster than 25 miles per hour, and it would still require approval from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to be tested on public roads.

Controlled tests have been underway since 2019 with “full prototypes”, according to the company, which obviously and officially takes its clues from the ‘Back to the Future’ movie franchise. The new FAA certificate, will now allow the company to widen these test flights.

On its website, Alef is accepting pre-orders and expects it to cost a whooping $300,000.
The company in January said it received 440 preorders and is set to start production and delivery in late 2025.

Alef is also working on a four-person sedan, which the company promises to release in 2035.,,


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