Here’s the World’s First Flying Electric Car Certified to Fly
The first flying car has been certified to fly after Alef Aeronautics was awarded a Special Airworthiness Certification. These certify the United States Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) approves flights. This after revealing its flying car in October 2022 for the first time.
At that time, Alef unveiled a full-size version of its Model A craft, along with two working demonstration cars. The price is $300,000, and since the unveiling has seen pre-orders soar. Alef’s two-person flying car is road worthy and features vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) functions, too.
What does “limited certification” for flying cars mean?
“We’re excited to receive this certification from the FAA,” said Jim Dukhovny, CEO of Alef. “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.”
The FAA certification limits certain aspects of flying the Model A. This is due to the FAA still developing rules and safety protocols for the zeitgeist of flying car startups lining up for similar certifications. The certificate mandates reporting failures, malfunctions, or defects to the FAA during this phase of development.
What is the Model A’s range in the air and on the ground?
It cannot be used for commercial purposes, or to carry passengers. And it still must pass National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) safety requirements to be driven on public roads.
The Palo Alto, California-based Alef flying Model A has a range of 110 miles on a single charge or 200 miles as a car. The goal is for owners to be able to register it as a Low-Speed Vehicle. That means a driven vehicle with a maximum speed of 25 mph.
But what separates it from other flying car prototypes of other manufacturers is that it looks like a car, as well as driving, steering, and braking like a car. All of the other eVTOL craft we’ve seen resemble a cross between helicopters and drones.
When did Alef begin developing Model A?
Before beginning the development of Model A, the assembled Alef group laid out basic parameters for it in 2015. “The constraints were: it has to be a real car (driving in driving lanes, parking in parking spaces), it has to have a vertical takeoff (otherwise it is not a real flying car), and it has to be affordable for most people (not just the rich),” Alef said.
The company plans on delivering its first Model A flying cars by late 2025.