By Katherine Donlevy, September 28, 2023 - NY Post
It’s flying into the future — of driving.
The world’s first flying car made its grand debut Monday at the Detroit Auto Show — wowing crowds just two months after gaining legal approval.
California-based Alef Aeronautics unveiled its swanky Model A prototype, which closely resembles a standard sedan except for its UFO-esque bubble-like seating area big enough to fit two passengers with an affinity for soaring.
The history-making vehicle was not flown at the annual event — Alef is still roughly two years away from starting production on the first flyable car.
“It’s still not the final consumer version,” founder and CEO Jim Dukhovny told Robb Report.
“But at this point, it’s pretty close.”
When it hits the market, the Model A will come attached to a $300,000 price tag.
The flying car was awarded a Special Airworthiness Certification from the Federal Aviation Administration in June, meaning the company will be allowed to test it on both the road and in the air.
Dukhovny, whose father was famous musician and poet Leonid Dukhovny, originally imagined that the flying car could help save time wasted in traffic, but said, “Every time I talk to somebody, people come up with new use cases.”
The fully electric vehicle can be driven up to 200 miles on public roads, but it can also launch vertically into the air with a flying range of 110 miles.
The cabin is engineered to rotate and stabilize the driver/flyer as they weave through the air.
Plus, the car will offer “cinematic” 180-plus degree views, the company said.
The conveyance measures about 17 feet long, 7 feet wide and 6 feet high — similar to the dimensions of an SUV — and is designed to fit in any parking space or garage.
Because it is aimed at the general public, the Model A was designed to be easy to learn, especially considering there will be little air traffic to deal with while learning the ropes.
“I can teach you how to fly and drive this in about 15 minutes or less,” Dukhovny told Robb Report.
“If you can tell the difference between the right, left, up, down, front and back, you can do this. It’s pretty much the only controls it has.”