By Grace Chigbu
In a groundbreaking achievement that seems to be made straight out of a science fiction movie, the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has recently granted official approval to the world’s first fully operational flying car. This remarkable vehicle, known as Model A, is the brainchild of the visionary team at Alef Aeronautics, a US-based company, making history by becoming the first-ever flying car to receive certification in the United States.
Founded in 2015 by a group of technical geniuses Dr. Constantine Kisly, Pavel Markin, Oleg Petrov, and Jim Dukhovny – Alef Aeronautics set out on a captivating journey to turn their ambitious dreams into reality. It all started with a simple doodle on a napkin in a café, with the founders initially envisioning a speedy six-month timeline for constructing the car.
At the heart of the Model A’s design is its striking resemblance to an everyday car, with an impressive driving range of 200 miles. However, the real game-changer lies in its capability for vertical take-off and aerial navigation, boasting a flight range of up to 110 miles. Combining functionality with affordability, this electric flying car has been the talk of the town since the company commenced pre-sales in October 2022, swiftly securing over 440 reservations before the year’s end.
Alef Aeronautics has been diligently testing both driving and flying prototypes since 2019, fine-tuning the Model A for a seamless user experience. The company plans to kickstart production in the final quarter of 2025, with deliveries expected to begin shortly after that.
AeroMobil Another Flying Car Model is on view at the Petersen Automotive Museum on the Miracle Mile
The certification from the FAA has ignited a wave of excitement within the company, particularly for its CEO, Jim Dukhovny. He expressed his elation, acknowledging that this approval propels them one step closer to providing people with a more eco-friendly and faster commute. Dukhovny couldn’t resist drawing a parallel to Neil Armstrong’s iconic words on the moon landing, calling this development a “one small step for planes, one giant leap for cars.
Far from resting on their laurels, Alef Aeronautics has grand plans for additional models beyond the Model A. Among them is the Model Z, a four-seater saloon set to debut in 2035 with an enticing starting price of £25,000. Model Z is projected to boast a flying range of over 300 miles and an impressive driving range exceeding 200 miles.
As Alef Aeronautics leads the way in the realm of flying cars, companies worldwide are also exploring similar concepts. Chinese EV startup XPeng recently made headlines when their Aero HT became the first manned eVTOL (electric vertical take-off and landing) vehicle to receive a flight permit in China earlier this year.
This 30-foot wingspan is a jaw-dropper, the AeroMobil can go from an on-the-road car to an up-in-the-sky plane “in less than three minutes.”
The FAA’s approval of the Model A is nothing short of a monumental stride towards the future of transportation, heralding the dawn of an era where flying cars are no longer confined to science fiction stories but a tangible reality. With Alef Aeronautics at the forefront of this groundbreaking revolution, it’s evident that the skies of tomorrow will be filled with flying vehicles, offering a new dimension of accessibility and convenience to people around the globe.