Alef Model A, Alef Aerospace’s not-for-all-pockets flying car, which aims to arrive in 2025.
Silicon Valley-based Alef Aeronautics recently unveiled a first prototype of the Alef Model A flying car, which it hopes to begin flying in the coming months. The company’s CEO, Jim Dukhovny, said: “The Alef flying car will revolutionise transportation,” referring to the flying cars featured in films such as Back to the Future and Bladerunner. Dukhovny, added:
“Almost every vision of the future has envisioned exactly the same thing: a flying car. We can solve all the world’s traffic for the next hundred years.”
The Alef Model A has been unveiled alongside two other flying prototypes called Alef Zero. Specifically, the Alef Model A is designed for a single occupant and is capable of carrying a payload of around 90kg, although the company said they plan to increase the capacity to two occupants, and with it their payload.
Built with a body the size of a large sedan, the Alef Model A is equipped with eight propellers and offers a driving range of 320 kilometres and a flight range of 177 km. The vehicle pivots 90 degrees around its axis to switch from upward to forward flight. As it pivots, one side of the body becomes the upper wing and the other the lower wing.
The Alef Model A flying car is not for everyone, as it starts at a price of $300,000. It is already available for pre-order and is scheduled to go on sale from 2025. The company is currently awaiting funding, with Tim Draper, a prominent Silicon Valley venture capitalist who also funded electric vehicle manufacturer Tesla, being one of Alef Aeronautics’ first investors.
The company has said it is also investigating thelaunch of the Model Z by 2030, which would be priced at a more affordable $35,000 and would only require a drone licence to drive. Alef expects the Model Z to have a range of 200 miles in flight and 400 miles on the road, with the ability to carry four to six passengers.
In addition, the company also wants to build a hydrogen fuel cell-powered design, with a range of around 650 km. Alef Aeronautics certainly has ambitious plans in mind for the coming years. Companies such as Xpeng are also working on this type of flying vehicle, about which, in the case of the Chinese brand, new developments have recently been announced on the occasion of Xpeng Tech Day 2022.
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