FAA grants airworthiness certificate to prototype of flying car

The first entirely electric vehicle that can fly and travel on roadways in the United States has received certification from the Federal Aviation Administration for testing. 

The vehicle has been described as a flying automobile by a California startup. Known as the “Model A,” Alef Automotive claims their hybrid vehicle/aircraft is the first of its kind that can be driven legally on public roads and parked similarly to a regular automobile.

To add to that, it can take off and land in the air directly vertically. One or two people should be able to ride in it, and its range will be 200 miles on the road and 110 miles in the air. The first deliveries are expected to begin at the end of 2025, and the car is expected to sell for $300,000.

According to the company website, the flying car will be classified as a “low speed vehicle,” meaning it would be limited to speeds of no more than 25 mph when driven on a standard roadway. 

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s blessing is still necessary before it can hit the roads.

After a successful autonomous test flight of a skeleton automobile in 2018, the company says a full-size prototype will be flown in 2019. Alef said it needed an FAA special airworthiness certificate to test.

The company announced earlier this year that more than 400 automobiles had refundable pre-orders at $150 for the public wait and $1,500 for the priority line.

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Airworthiness Certificate

The FAA has certified that the company has a special airworthiness certificate for use in specific situations, such as for display or scientific study.

The term “vehicle takeoff and landing” (VTOL) refers to the fact that many businesses are now developing fully electric VTOL aircraft. It’s “not the first aircraft of its kind” to receive a special airworthiness certificate, according to the FAA, so Alef is in good company. Alef, however, claimed that its automobile was unique since it could fly and drive on roads at the same time, look like a regular car, and fit into a regular parking spot.

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Source: CNN

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