US Government Approves First Flying Car Prototype For Testing On Air

The United States Federal Aviation Administration has granted approval for a revolutionary flying car prototype.

Alef Automotive, a California-based start-up, announced that their vehicle, known as the “Model A,” has become the first fully electric vehicle capable of both flying and driving on public roads to receive government approval.

Setting itself apart from other flying vehicles, the Model A can park like a regular car and offers vertical takeoff and landing capabilities.

The vehicle is designed to accommodate one or two occupants, with a road-range of 200 miles and a flying range of 110 miles.

Alef Automotive plans to sell each vehicle for $300,000, with the first delivery scheduled for the end of 2025.

The FAA has issued the company a special airworthiness certificate, permitting limited usage for purposes such as exhibitions and research and development.

While other companies are also working on all-electric VTOLs (vertical takeoff and landing aircraft), Alef claims that its vehicle is unique due to its ability to function on both roads and in the air, resembling a regular car and fitting into standard parking spaces.

Jim Dukhovny, the CEO of Alef, expressed excitement about the FAA certification, stating, “It allows us to move closer to bringing people an environmentally friendly and faster commute, saving individuals and companies hours each week. This is one small step for planes, one giant step for cars.”

Alef’s website states that the flying car will be certified as a “low-speed vehicle,” restricting its maximum speed to approximately 25 miles per hour on paved roads.

The assumption is that if a driver requires a faster route, they would utilize Alef’s flight capabilities.

Development of the Model A has been underway since 2015, initiated by Constantine Kisly, Pavel Markin, Oleg Petrov, and Jim Dukhovny—four friends inspired by the “Back to the Future” movies.

The company conducted a successful automated test flight of a skeletal version of the car in 2018, followed by a full-size prototype flight the next year.

However, Alef required the FAA’s special airworthiness certificate to continue their essential research and development. The company has also received refundable pre-orders for over 400 units of the vehicle.

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By Chinedu

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