Alef Flying Car Startup Unveils Its First Wild Prototype And It's Ready For Preorders

alef doors open
A startup company in Santa Clara, California, has placed its "Model A" drivable flying car on pre-order. Alef has been working on the flying car since 2015, and has been test driving and test flying the full-size prototype since 2019.

Anyone that has ever sat in a traffic jam has probably envisioned being able to flip a switch, making their vehicle capable of taking flight in order to escape the congestion that they are immersed in. Startup company Alef has introduced what may very well be capable of doing just that. The Model A all electric vehicle is touted as being the only drivable flying car with vertical take-off and landing capabilities.

alef top down view

The Model A is an all electric vehicle, with a driving range of 200 miles, and a flight range of 110 miles. The vehicle features a gimbaled cabin design, which is meant to deliver a smooth and stable ride for the occupants inside. It is also packed with safety components, such as the Distributed Electric Propulsion (DEP), triple to octuple redundancy of all key components, real-time thousand point diagnostics, pre-flight reject start diagnostics, glide landing, and full-vehicle ballistic parachute.

alef interior

Chief Executive of Alef, Jim Dukhovny, believes the Alef flying car will revolutionize transportation. The company was part of a group of aeronautic firms that attended a press conference at Draper University in San Mateo, California recently. It showcased a single passenger prototype of the Alef Model A, along with two flying prototypes called Alef Zero at the event.

Dukhovny remarked, "Almost every vision of the future came up with exactly the same thing: a flying car. We can actually solve all traffic in the world for the next hundred years."

alef flying car

The vehicle can achieve a vertical take-off in much the same fashion as a drone. In smaller prototypes, the body pivots 90 degrees around its long axis in order to shift from upward flight to forward flight. As the now airborne vehicle begins to pivot, one side of the car's body takes on the duty of becoming the top wing, and the other side becomes the bottom wing.

The company is taking pre-orders now, with a price tag of $300K. You can pay to placed in a regular queue for only $150, or opt to be placed in a priority queue for a $1,500 deposit. The Model A is expected to enter production and begin deliveries in 2025, with a $35,000 Model Z sedan in the works for introduction in 2035. The Model Z is expected to only require a drone license to operate.