ASKA’s A5 flying car has achieved tethered flight, taking-off from a Californian airfield using hovered thrust.
The Aska A5 is around the size of an SUV and is billed by the company as a “drive & fly eVTOL” that can travel by road and air. The hybrid-electric, four-passenger vehicle is powered by batteries and gasoline, features six motors for flight and has a range of 250 miles (400km) and an airspeed of up to 150mph (240km/h).
Aska, which was founded in 2018 received a Certificate of Authorization (COA) and Special Airworthiness Certification from the FAA in June so it could start flight testing the A5. The company has already conducted more than 300 miles (480km/h) of road testing with the vehicle.
The Mountain View, California-based company has said it plans for the A5 to enter service 2026, “subject to regulatory approvals”.
Guy Kaplinsky, CEO and cofounder of ASKA said, “It was an incredible feeling of accomplishment for the team to reach this new milestone. This moment represents a giant leap for the aviation and automotive industries. Having accomplished the first series of hover flight testing as well as driving testing, ASKA is a pioneer in the field of electric flying cars with VTOL capabilities.”
The A5 is being developed to take-off and land vertically from a helipad or vertiport and as a short take-off and landing (STOL) runway-based aircraft using its in-wheel motors, thrust from the props and aerodynamic wings.
Maki Kaplinsky, cofounder, chair and chief operating officer of Aska said, “This first lift-off was a true accomplishment and years of engineering design and analysis became a reality. A5 successfully lifted off and maintained thrust hover status. We are closely working with the FAA to ensure continued excellent progress with our flight testing. We will continue the optimization of hovering and VTOL. The next phase will be working toward transition into cruise and STOL.”