World’s first driveable flying car gets government approval for take off, but how does it work?
Rock News
Rock News

World’s first driveable flying car gets government approval for take off, but how does it work?

Don't show the Aucklanders.

Science fiction has long told us that when cars fly overhead is when we’ll know we’re in the future, and that may be sooner than we think. 

Alef Aeronautics, an automotive and aviation startup based in California, reckon they’ll be the ones ushering us into a new era of travel. In a press release, they announced that their Flying Car Model A has been granted a ‘Special Airworthiness Certification’ from the US government, which basically means it can legally fly.

They say that the electric car will be able to take off vertically and fly for up to 110 miles (177km) before needing a recharge. Rather than manoeuvring through the air as if it’s on a road, the car actually tilts and flies like a drone. 

Alef Flying Car Forward Flight
Alef's Flying Car in Forward Flight mode
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It’s made up of a carbon-fibre body that holds four propellers on each side. When it takes off, the whole vehicle rotates on its side, including the two-seat (driver and passenger) cockpit. 

Its intended use is utilising all that empty space above to bypass everyday nuisances you come across on the road. Jim Dukhovny, Alef’s CEO, labelled such scenarios “hop” scenarios when he talked to CNBC Make It.

“The customer mainly uses the vehicle as a car, and only ‘hops’ over the obstacles when needed,” he said. 

Alef Flying Car Hop
Alef's Flying Car in a 'hop scenario'
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Dukhovny has already made the car available for pre-sale and believes it’ll be rolled out at the end of 2025. The actual car has an expected price of US$300,000 (NZ$487,000) and you can put down a deposit of NZ$240 to enter the pre-order queue or upgrade to priority queue for NZ$2,400. 

“It allows us to move closer to bringing people an environmentally friendly and faster commute, saving individuals and companies hours each week,” he said. “This is one small step for planes, one giant step for cars.”

Just don’t give it to this kid, who crashed his dad’s car not even six seconds into his first time behind the wheel.