Tuesday, April 16, 2024

ASKA earns FAA airworthiness approval for its A5 flying car

ASKA, a Silicon Valley air mobility company, has received the green light from the FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) for the ASKA A5 pre-production prototype.

The ASKA concept was first introduced in April 2021 as the first viable electric Vertical Takeoff and Landing (eVTOL) vehicle where you can drive on the road like a car and take off vertically to fly in the air like an aircraft.

The startup has come a long way since then. Earlier this year, the company made the A5’s first public appearance of its fully functional prototype at CES 2023 (Consumer Electronics Show). Its pre-production prototype is now awarded a Certificate of Authorization (COA) and Special Airworthiness Certification by the FAA and has started flight testing.

Since 2022, ASKA has performed successful ground testing and, in the first quarter of 2023, began conducting on-street driving tests. ASKA is working closely with the FAA on type certification, which signifies the design is in compliance with applicable airworthiness, noise, fuel venting, and exhaust emissions standards.

The ASKA A5 is a drive & fly eVTOL that can travel by road and air. The four-seater flying car, the size of a large SUV, promises a 250-mile (400 km) flight range and a top speed of 150 mph (241 km/h). The aircraft is capable of both Vertical Takeoff and Landing (VTOL) from helipads and Short Takeoff and Landing (STOL) from runways.

It has six electric propellers and six electric motors mounted on foldable tandem wings. Each rotor has an independent battery power source plus a range extender engine that charges the batteries in-flight. The range extender engine runs on premium gasoline purchased at existing automotive gas stations. In addition, the flying car features two rear vertical stabilizers for additional aerodynamic control and has large windows providing excellent views for the passengers.

In driving mode, the ASKA A5 has in-wheel motor technology and all-wheel drive traction. Wheels are located outside the fuselage for better aerodynamics and to maximize the vehicle’s interior.

The vehicle is designed for the highest level of safety, a key factor that has enabled the company to make positive progress with the FAA toward type certification. The aircraft ensures continued flight and a safe landing in the event of an emergency. Moreover, it has a whole aircraft emergency ballistic parachute in the event of loss of power.

What’s more, the ASKA A5 makes maximum use of existing infrastructure, such as parking, charging stations, airfields, helipads, and runways, for seamless integration into city and suburban landscapes. The vehicle fits in standard parking spaces and can be charged at home and EV charging stations.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d7lA3Ibv1MA

“We have achieved a series of technological milestones in the first quarter of 2023; debuting the first full-scale working prototype of the ASKA A5 in January at CES, successfully performing field and driving tests, and obtaining the COA and Special Airworthiness Certification for our pre-production prototype,” says Guy Kaplinsky, CEO/Cofounder. “The data we are harvesting from flight testing is enabling us to make progress towards our type certification. We have already completed the initial phase and are progressing towards our next milestone, G1 status.”

Since 2021, when it launched pre-order reservations, the company has secured pre-orders worth over $50 million.