FAA approves $300,000 DeLorean-like flying car that can vertically take off to avoid


Real-life Back to the Future? $300,000 flying car that drives on roads and takes off to avoid traffic jams like the 1980s film’s DeLorean gets FAA approval

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has given the legal go-ahead to the makers of a quirky car that can transition seamlessly from highway to air, just like Doc Brown’s retrofitted DeLorean in the Back to the Future series. 

California-based Alef Aeronautics claims that its Model A will have customers sailing over traffic and hopping over accidents, all for a suggested retail price of $298,520.

Alef announced that its all-electric, two-seater Model A received a limited Special Airworthiness Certification from the FAA this Tuesday. 

The company — which reports that it has been testing a full-sized prototype of the Model A since 2019 — called the news ‘one small step for planes, one giant step for cars.’  

The Federal Aviation Administration has given the go-ahead to Alef to test its quirky flying car, the Model A, which they said can execute vertical takeoffs seamlessly from highway to air

The Federal Aviation Administration has given the go-ahead to Alef to test its quirky flying car, the Model A, which they said can execute vertical takeoffs seamlessly from highway to air

Alef unveiled its full-sized sports car model, along with two fully functional, full-size technology demonstrator cars at a Draper University press conference last October

Alef unveiled its full-sized sports car model, along with two fully functional, full-size technology demonstrator cars at a Draper University press conference last October

Alef has said that its flying car is 100 percent electric and capable of holding its own on public roads. 

The vehicle has been designed for vertical takeoff and landing capabilities and could carry one-to-two occupants. 

‘The FAA is actively working on its policies for electrical vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) vehicles,’ a spokesperson for Alef said in a statement, ‘as well as governing interactions between eVTOLs and ground infrastructure.’

Given this new regulatory frontier, Alef noted that its special certificate from the FAA currently ‘limits the locations and purpose for which Alef is permitted to fly’ as testing of the Model A continues.

At a Draper University press conference held last October in San Mateo, California, Alef unveiled its full-sized sports car model and two fully functional, full-size technology demonstrator cars.

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has given the legal go-ahead to the makers of a quirky car that can transition seamlessly from highway to air, just like Doc Brown's retrofitted DeLorean in the Back to the Future series that took Marty McFly (Michael J. Fox) through tiume

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has given the legal go-ahead to the makers of a quirky car that can transition seamlessly from highway to air, just like Doc Brown’s retrofitted DeLorean in the Back to the Future series that took Marty McFly (Michael J. Fox) through tiume

California-based Alef Aeronautics claims that its Model A will have customers sailing over traffic and hopping over accidents, all for a suggested retail price of $298,520

 California-based Alef Aeronautics claims that its Model A will have customers sailing over traffic and hopping over accidents, all for a suggested retail price of $298,520

Alef's Model A is designed for vertical takeoff and landing and can carry one-to-two occupants

Alef’s Model A is designed for vertical takeoff and landing and can carry one-to-two occupants

According to the firm, pre-orders for the Model A have been strong for individuals and companies ever since. 

On the road, according to Alef’s website, the Model A will be categorized as a Low-Speed Vehicle (LSV), a designation from the US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and local state agencies which means that the car will come with legal limitations in most states. 

‘The assumption is that, if a driver needs a faster route, they will use Alef’s flight capabilities,’ as explained on the pre-order page for the Model A.

During and after the flying car’s vertical takeoff maneuvers, the driver, passenger and surrounding cabin remain stabilized by Alef’s specially engineered, rotating gimbaled cabin design.

‘We’re excited to receive this certification from the FAA,’ Alef’s CEO Jim Dukhovny said in a statement. 

‘It allows us to move closer to bringing people an environmentally friendly and faster commute,’ Dukhovny said, ‘saving individuals and companies hours each week.’



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