Bay Area based ASKA has had quite the busy summer since it announced receipt of its FAA Special Airworthiness Certificate.
The size of an SUV in the drive mode, the four-seater ASKA A5 is the world’s first flying car that can travel by road and air with vertical takeoff and landing VTOL and short takeoff and landing STOL capabilities. The drive & fly eVTOL is designed with maximum safety standards and a 250 mile flight range.
Last week, the successfully completed its first airborne tests, lifting from a California airfield with hovered thrust while the vehicle was tethered to the ground. Further, ASKA is road legal with the California DMV and has completed more than 300 miles of road testing in the Bay Area.
Guy Kaplinsky, CEO/Cofounder, stated: “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 VTOL capabilities.”
Maki Kaplinsky, CoFounder/Chair & COO, commented on the A5’s next steps towards commercialization in 2026, subject to regulatory approvals. “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.”
ASKA followed up its first flight tests with a high profile public appearance at Monterey Car Week at Pebble Beach. While ASKA’s A5 eVTOL did not fly at the event, the company demonstrated advanced capabilities including on-road driving demonstrations and public displays of the wings opening and closing, and the props turning.
“This event was a major public demonstration of advanced technological achievements, such as driving and opening and closing the wings and the props turning,” explained Guy Kaplinsky, CEO/Cofounder. “The last big event for us was CES Las Vegas in January 2023, when we debuted the fully-functional full-scale prototype of ASKA™ A5. We are hitting our targets for this year and progressing with type certification with the FAA.”
Why it matters: ASKA has been relatively in stealth mode since its CES debut earlier this year. With the issuance of its Special Airworthiness Certificate and successful public demonstrations and test flights, it is clear ASKA is a real contender in the eVTOL space. If all goes to plan, ASKA hopes to certify and commercialize their eVTOL craft by 2026.