Alef Aeronautics Debuts Their Flying Car At Auto Show
ALEF AERONAUTICS DEBUTS THEIR FLYING CAR AT AUTO SHOW
Flying cars may seem like something straight out of a retro sci-fi movie, but many companies are actively working to make them a reality. One such company is Alef Aeronautics, which recently unveiled its Model A prototype at the Detroit Auto Show. The electric vehicle was approved for flight testing by the Federal Aviation Administration in July and is now available for pre-order. Although there was no flight demonstration in Detroit, Aleph showed off the car's sophisticated design.
Model A is a mobile vehicle that can take off vertically, allowing drivers to decide whether to travel on land or in the air. The top of the vehicle has a lightweight carbon fibre mesh that wraps around the eight propellers and provides air circulation. The underbody houses four wheels, each driven by its own motor. These design decisions make the Model A visually very similar to a modern sports car, in contrast to the aeroplane-like appearance of the flying cars being developed by competitors. In terms of size, it is comparable to an SUV, so parking in a garage or parking lot is no problem. These features were a conscious decision by Alef Aeronautics, who wanted to build a flying car that fit into existing city infrastructure.
Alef's first model has a range of 200 miles and a flight range of 110 miles. With a pre-sale price of $300,000, his Model A is targeted at wealthy technology enthusiasts who want to buy early. But the company is already looking for ways to lower the price of its second flying vehicle, a four-seat sedan. This Model Z will not appear on the market until 2035, but the price will drop significantly. Alef estimates that the winner will receive his $35,000 prize. It's also still unclear what certifications the Model A will require, so it might not be a bad idea to wait. Jim Dukhovny, Alef's founder and CEO, said the company can teach people how to drive and fly a vehicle in "less than 15 minutes," adding, "Right, left, up, down, forward. If you can tell the difference and see what's behind you, you can be anyone." There is currently no standard license to operate something like this. NASA is already thinking about a future where flying cars and drones take over the skies. They have been actively working on the "highway in the sky" for some time, but the law needs to catch up with advances in technology. In the meantime, Alef Aeronautics will continue completing prototypes with the goal of delivering the first Model A aircraft to consumers in the final quarter of 2025.