On June 27, 2023, the flying Model A car from Alef Aeronautics was approved by the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), according to a CNN report. This makes this the first car with the ability to fly made legal in the United States.
The car model was unveiled in October 2022. Model A is designed to be able to drive on the road and fly above the ground. The car has the capability of taking off vertically and landing. The car is a sports car and is fully electric. The current model can hold one to two passengers. Model A is low-speed and can only drive at about 25 mph (40 km/h) on the road. Its high-speed capabilities are designed to work while flying.
Alef is a sustainable transportation company with the goal of creating the first flying car. The company was established in San Mateo in 2015. The company was founded by four friends: Pavel Markin, Constantine Kisly, Oleg Petrov and Jim Dukhovny. They were inspired by the Back to the Future II flying cars that were readily available in the science fiction film set in 2015. The company was previously known as Armada until a rebrand in 2022, right before the unveiling of its first flying prototype: Model A.
The FAA issued its Special Airworthiness Certification to the car model. This certification will allow the company to fully test the capabilities of the car. The car was already fully built and ready by 2018, but no further tests nor sales could be made before the certification.
Alef’s CEO, Jim Dukhovny, commented on the recent certification: “We’re excited to receive this certification from the FAA. 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.”
Model A is not the first of flying cars, but one of the first that allows such a seamless transition between flight and driving on roads.
The car is open for pre-order on Alef's website. To pre-order, one must pay $150 to be in the general queue and $1,500 to be put in the priority queue. Model A is estimated to cost $299,999. The company has revealed they have taken over 400 pre-orders for the vehicle.
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