The first-ever flying car has been approved last week by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) for flight tests, according to multiple media reports.
The vehicle, which is also 100% electric, is by Alef Aeronautics, a company in the automobile and aviation industry based in California whose goal is to develop and promote a flying car. The start-up is also backed by SpaceX, Business Insider reported.
With the company’s goal now realized, the FAA gave it legal permission to test the vehicle on the road and sky, media reports said. The company has reportedly been test-flying its prototype since 2019.
The flying car is referred to as “Model A,” and its test run is required before the vehicle can be released to the public. It is possible to pre-order a flying car on the Alef Aeronautics website for about $300 thousand – with customers obligated to pay $150 to be put on a waiting list, or pay ten times that amount for priority access once deliveries start, which is expected to only begin in about two years, multiple reports said.
Limits to the vehicle’s travel capabilities
The vehicle will expectedly have a road range of 200 miles and a flying range of 110 miles, reports say.
The company stated that it is the first to receive a Special Airworthiness Certification from the FAA, USA Today reported, which limits the locations where the vehicle can travel while airborne. Furthermore, the company must report to the US government if its flying car experiences any issues or malfunctions under the Code of Federal Regulations.
The company states that its newest innovation can also be driven on public roads and has vertical takeoff and landing capabilities, but cannot do so faster than 25 miles per hour. Alef Aeronautics stressed that the driver will be able to resort to the vehicle’s airborne capabilities should they need to travel at a faster speed.