This first-of-its-kind 'drive and fly' eVTOL is the size of an SUV
The first fully-functional prototype of the ASKA A5 electric drive and fly Vertical Takeoff and Landing (eVTOL) vehicle was introduced at CES 2023, according to a press release by the firm published on Wednesday.
Traveling 250 miles on a single charge
ASKA A5 is the size of an SUV and the world's first four-seater electric vehicle that can travel by road and up to 250 miles by air on a single charge.
"Our unveil at CES represents something that has never been accomplished in the world but which humans have dreamed of for decades: a fully functional, full-scale prototype of a Drive & Fly electric Vertical Takeoff and Landing, a real flying car. We're making history with ASKA and defining the next 100 years of transportation," stated Guy Kaplinsky, co-founder/CEO of ASKA.
"ASKA is positioned as a new generation vehicle that combines the convenience of an automobile with the ease and efficiency of VTOL and STOL flight. ASKA is a vehicle that addresses not only consumers, there is also significant business potential in emergency response use, military use, as well as on-demand ride-sharing mobility services."
ASKA is extremely practical requiring only minimum updates to the current infrastructure to function. To perform a vertical take-off or landing, the vehicle needs only a compact space, such as a helipad or vertiport. The vehicle also fits in existing parking spaces and can be charged at home and at EV charging stations.
The ASKA A5 is powered by a proprietary power system that features lithium-ion battery packs and a gasoline engine that acts as an onboard range extender. This dual energy source allows for a 250-mile flight range while significantly increasing power source reliability.
In drive mode, ASKA boasts wheel motor technology, allowing all four wheels to be placed outside the fuselage. This feature delivers better aerodynamics, and a maximized interior space that can comfortably seat four passengers.
In flying mode, the vehicle's wings with six rotors unfold, allowing the vehicle to either take off vertically or do conventional runway takeoffs. The large wing is optimized for gliding, smooth landings, and efficient energy consumption, while each tilt rotor is utilized for vehicle control.
Two models for take-off
This means that ASKA can take off in two ways: one is a Vertical Takeoff and Landing (VTOL) from a compact space like a helipad. The other is a conventional runway takeoff and landing, which can improve the vehicle's energy consumption efficiency.
"In the U.S. alone, there are around 15,000 airfields with runways," explained Maki Kaplinsky, co-founder & chair/COO of ASKA.
"Our innovative engineering enables ASKA to take off from a runway super fast using our unique in-wheel motor technology. This is a revolution in aviation, enabling ASKA to take off in less than 5 sec with a runway of 250 ft which brings the closest experience to a F-18 Super Hornet fighter jet taking off from an aircraft carrier for our customers. Pilots will have plenty of options for how and where to fly ASKA. ASKA's revolutionary "Drive and Fly" design enables us to use existing infrastructure and provide "last mile" transportation. ASKA lets people drive, fly and then drive to their final destination in one vehicle. This "Drive and Fly" approach will enable air mobility to be more easily and cost-effectively adopted."
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