Flying car prototype just got airworthiness certificate from FAA

The Federal Aviation Administration has authorized testing of what the California startup describes as a “flying car.” It is the first fully electric vehicle capable of both flying and road driving to be approved by the US government.

Aleph Automotive said its vehicle/aircraft, dubbed ‘Model A’, is the first flying vehicle that can be driven on public roads and parked like a normal car. It also has vertical take-off and landing capability. It will apparently carry a crew of one or two and will have a range of 200 miles and a flight range of 110 miles.

The company expects to sell the vehicles for $300,000 each, with first deliveries scheduled by the end of 2025.

The FAA has confirmed that it has issued a special airworthiness certificate to the company that allows it for limited purposes such as display, research and development.

Many companies are working on all-electric VTOLs (short for take-off and landing aircraft). The FAA said the Aleph “is not the first aircraft of its kind” to receive a special airworthiness certificate. However, Aleph noted that the vehicle is different in that it works both on the road and in the air, looks like a regular car and can be parked in regular parking spaces.

“We are thrilled to receive this certification from the FAA, which brings us closer to helping people get to work greener, faster, and saving hours each week for individuals and businesses alike.” It’s one small step for an airplane, but one big step for an airplane ‘a car,’ said Alef CEO Jim Dukhovny.

According to the company’s website, the flying car will be certified as a “slow vehicle”, meaning it cannot travel faster than about 40 kilometers per hour on paved roads. “If a driver needs a faster route, it is envisioned that the driver will use Aleph’s flight function,” the company posted on its site.

Either way, you still need Road Traffic Safety Authority approval to drive on the road.

Development of this vehicle has been underway since 2015. His four friends – Konstantin Kislyi, Pavel Markin, Oleg Petrov and Dukhovny – appeared in the movie “Back to the Future” (which foresaw the arrival of flying cars that year). Inspired, companies try to develop them.

According to the company, the first automated test flight of a skeleton version of the car was successfully conducted in 2018, and a full-scale prototype flew the following year. But Aleph said a special FAA certification of airworthiness is needed to continue the necessary research and development.

Earlier this year, the company said it was taking refundable pre-orders for more than 400 vehicles, costing $150 for general queues and $1,500 for priority queues.

CNN wire
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