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NFT opens order book for ASKA eVTOL car
- April 27, 2021
- William Payne
Urban air mobility startup NFT has launched its eVTOL ASKA vehicle, and is now taking pre-orders for the flying car. The company has also opened a consumer flying car showroom in Los Altos, California.
The sales showroom features demonstration models of the ASKA and also functions as a learning centre about urban air mobility.
According to the company, the four-seater ASKA drives on the road like a car, capable of vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL), as well as short takeoff and landing (STOL), and flies like an aircraft.
The company is pricing the eVTOL at $789,000. Services included in pricing are pilot license training, customised interior/exterior design, and a personalised license plate. The ASKA is targeted for delivery in 2026, pending standard regulatory approval and certification.
The initial limited model of ASKA has a flight range of up to 250 miles powered by electric motors, and is equipped with a range extender as a redundant safety system. Full electric system architecture of ASKA enables future models to convert range extenders to any other energy source such as hydrogen.
The size of a large SUV in drive mode, the ASKA can be used as a road vehicle. To transition to flight mode, ASKA lifts off vertically in a vertipad launch space. As the wings open, ASKA transitions to flight, programmed to the driver’s destination. After landing in a vertipad, ASKA can be driven as a car, or be parked in a standard parking lot. The vehicle is planned to feature semi-autonomous technologies, although pilot training will still be needed to operate ASKA in the air.
The FAA and EASA have moved ahead to certify street-legal conventional aircraft. ASKA’s development and flight testing are being conducted in accordance with FAA and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) guidelines for certification.
The vehicle has dual type of power supply sources. Each rotor has an independent battery power source plus a range extender power to ensure continued flight and a safe landing in the event of an emergency.
ASKA’s full scale flight demonstrations will be taking place in 2022, and the company is part of NASA’s Advanced Air Mobility National Campaign, along with Boeing, Bell, and others; NFT says that it is the only consumer-oriented company in this group.
“We have focused significantly on ASKA’s safety elements, which include dual energy sources, large wings, large propellers, 6 pack of batteries to ensure ASKA is as safe in the air as it is on the ground. We anticipate that flying cars that are accessible to the general public will be as instrumental in re-defining how and where we live, as the original automobile was to the foundation of our country’s highway and road systems.” said Guy Kaplinsky, NFT chief executive.
“To build a better society and a better economy, we need better transportation solutions, and flying cars will be a part of that equation,” said Maki Kaplinsky, NFT chair.
NFT is headquartered in Los Altos and has an R&D center in Israel. The company was founded by Maki and Guy Kaplinsky. Their previous startup, IQP Corporation, focused on IoT developments and was acquired by GE in 2017.