NFT Inc., an Israeli/American startup focused on future mobility, has announced it has started taking pre-orders for the ASKA, a folding, electric, street-legal, vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) vehicle that enables the driver to cruise along the city roads or through the air, New Atlas reports.
Amid a progressive time where many startups are working on building their drive-and-fly crafts, NFT's SUV-sized ASKA, which means "flying bird" in Japanese, sets itself apart from other vehicles thanks to its teardrop cabin that enables it to take up to four people. The six-cylinder tail and electric lifting system help it to vertically take off and land as well.
Powered by electric motors and equipped with a range extender, ASKA can reach speeds up to 241 km/h (150 mph) and has a range of 402 km (250 miles) while flying. When cruising through the city roads, it can reach a top speed of around 112 km/h (70 mph).
ASKA doesn't need to travel to an air terminal to transition to flight mode since the driver only needs to find a space wide enough for the vehicle to open its wings and rotor blades.
ASKA's full-scale demonstration flights are expected to take place in 2022. Through the next three years, the startup will work on certification and start mass production, with 2026 earmarked for the first ASKAs to be delivered.
Now, a special limited edition of ASKA is available for pre-order, but before you get too excited, it comes with a hefty price tag. Including getting a pilot's license, a fully custom interior, and a personalized license plate, the remarkable craft would cost you $789,000.
Moving toward advanced air mobility
Along with Boeing and others, NFT Inc. is part of NASA's Advanced Air Mobility National Campaign.
“We have focused significantly on ASKA’s safety elements, which include dual energy sources, large wings, large propellers, six-packs of batteries to ensure ASKA is as safe in the air as it is on the ground. We anticipate that flying cars that are accessible to the general public will be as instrumental in redefining how and where we live, as the original automobile was to the foundation of our country’s highway and road systems," said Co-founder & CEO Guy Kaplinsky.