Alef: This flying car just gained first-of-its-kind FAA certification

However, the special airworthiness certification places restrictions on the areas and objectives for which "Model A" may fly.
Jijo Malayil
Alef Model A
Alef Model A

Alef Aeronautics  

Imagine a futuristic machine that effortlessly glides along the road, behaving like an ordinary car. But when faced with obstacles or traffic, it transforms into an eVTOL, rising and traveling above the chaos below.

In a major milestone in efforts to provide such an option for customers, California-based sustainable electric transportation company Alef Aeronautics has moved closer to launching its operations.

To that extent, the firm's Model A" flying car has received special airworthiness certification from the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), "marking the first time a vehicle of this nature has received legal approval to fly from the US Government," said a press statement

The FAA is currently developing regulations for electronic vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) aircraft and how eVTOLs interface with ground infrastructure. As a result, Alef's Special Airworthiness Certificate restricts the areas and objectives for which Alef may fly.

The firm unveiled its Model A flying car in October 2022 and reported generating significant interest and orders for its offering. Alef has already taken pre-orders for 300,000 dollars through its website. 

The model offers an ideal alternative for short-city rides

Alef's flying automobile is entirely electric, has vertical takeoff and landing capability, and is drivable on public highways.

Alef employs cutting-edge technology to securely lift the car above conventional traffic, facilitating faster, more accessible travel and lightening the burden of urban congestion. If operated as intended, the battery-powered vehicle will launch vertically using eight propellers contained inside a body about the size of a large sedan. One or two persons can be found within bubble-like chambers inside the vehicle's mesh-topped body, but most of the area is unoccupied.

Alef reports the flying car can provide a driving range of 200 miles (321 kilometers) and a flight range of 110 miles (177 kilometers).

The recognition from FAA is slated to help the firm "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," said Jim Dukhovny, CEO of Alef, in a press statement. 

Alef's Model A production is expected to start towards the end of 2025, with deliveries slated to begin shortly after. 

Alef is also working on other vehicles, such as the "Model Z," a car with a seating capacity of up to four people with a 35,000 dollar beginning price that will debut in 2035. It will be capable of flying 200 miles (321 kilometers) with a driving range of 400 miles (643 kilometers).

What are your thoughts on how vehicles capable of both flying and driving could potentially impact our daily lives?

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