The ASKA A5 flying car has taken another step towards certification after the eVTOL aircraft completed its first test flight.
The full-scale prototype successfully achieved its major flight-testing milestone, lifting from a California airfield with hovered thrust while the vehicle was tethered to the ground.
In July 2023, ASKA announced that the A5 has also become world’s first flying car to receive authorization to drive on public roads from the United States (US) Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV).
So far, the Advanced Air Mobility (AAM) aircraft has successfully conducted more than 300 miles of road testing around Silicon Valley, complete with a DMV number plate.
On June 30th, 2023, the company also reported that the A5 had achieved Certificate of Authorization (COA) and Special Airworthiness Certification by the Federal Aviation Authorization (FAA).
The eVTOL aircraft is the first flying car to start the type certification process with the FAA.
“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 vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) capabilities,” said Guy Kaplinsky, CEO and Cofounder of ASKA.
As well as VTOL from a helipad or vertiport, the vehicle can also perform an energy-efficient short take-off and landing (STOL) from a runway using the in-wheel motors, thrust from the props and aerodynamic wings.
“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,” said Maki Kaplinsky, cofounder, chair and COO of ASKA said.
ASKA launched in 2018 and started taking pre-order reservations in 2021. The company has already secured $50 million in pre-orders.
The eVTOL developer is looking towards commercialization in 2026, subject to regulatory approvals.