The prototype of the Aska A5 electric flying car, which can do a vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL), made its debut at CES 2023.
The size of a big SUV, the Aska A5 is the world’s first four-seater electric vehicle that can travel by road,
and up to 250 miles by air on a single charge.
The company is also announcing the Aska On-Demand ride service (expected to launch in 2026) that will feature a fleet of Aska vehicles, operating on-demand in major cities and their surroundings.
Or highways were once innovations, but now they’ve become congested. People are spending too much of their lives in traffic. There needs to be a “step change,” Aska said.
A new transportation solution that addresses the biggest challenges we face – cost of living, climate change, affordable housing, effective infrastructure, and quality of life. It’s something new that was predicted long ago but is finally becoming a reality: the flying car.
“Our unveil at CES represents something that has never been accomplished in the world, but which humans have dreamed of for decades: a fully functional, full-scale prototype of a Drive & Fly electric Vertical Takeoff and Landing, a real flying car. We’re making history with Aska and defining the next 100 years of transportation,” said Guy Kaplinsky, CEO of Aska, in a statement. “Aska is positioned as a new generation vehicle that combines the convenience of an automobile with the ease and efficiency of VTOL and STOL flight. Aska is a vehicle that addresses not only consumers, there is also significant business potential in emergency response use, military use, as well as on-demand ride-sharing mobility services.”
Aska requires minimum updates to the current infrastructure. To perform a vertical take-off or landing, Aska requires only a compact space, such as a helipad or vertiport. The vehicle fits in existing parking spaces, it can be charged at home and EV charging stations, and the range extender engine runs on premium gasoline purchased at existing automotive gas stations.
Flying Car as a Service Aska A5 is available for pre-order. The company is developing an affordable on-demand ride-sharing service that utilizes its eVTOL vehicles. Targeting availability in major cities and surrounding areas by 2026, Aska’s ride-sharing program will have certified pilots pick rideshare customers up at their homes and fly them to their destinations. The company has launched early-bird sign-up free registration for Aska On-Demand.
Innovative engineering firsts
At first glance, the Aska A5 doesn’t look like any vehicle you’ve ever seen before. It bridges modern automotive and aviation design. Powering the Aska A5 is a proprietary power system that features lithium-ion battery packs and a gasoline engine that acts as an onboard range extender. This dual energy source delivers a 250-mile flight range and drastically increases power source reliability.
In drive mode, Aska packs in-wheel motor technology, allowing all four wheels to be placed outside the fuselage for all-wheel-drive traction, better aerodynamics, and maximized interior space to comfortably seat four passengers.
In flying mode, the vehicle’s wings with six rotors unfold, allowing the vehicle to either take off vertically, or do conventional runway takeoffs. The large wing is optimized for gliding, smooth landings, and efficient energy consumption, while each tilt rotor is utilized for vehicle control.
Aska can take off vertically from a compact space like a helipad. It can also use a conventional runway takeoff and landing which can improve the vehicle’s energy consumption efficiency.
“In the U.S. alone, there are around 15,000 airfields with runways,” said Maki Kaplinsky, chair and chief operating officer of Aska, in a statement. “Our innovative engineering enables Aska to take off from a
runway super fast using our unique in-wheel motor technology. This is a revolution in aviation,
enabling Aska to take off in less than five seconds with a runway of 250 feet which brings the closest
experience to a F-18 Super Hornet fighter jet taking off from an aircraft carrier for our customers.”
He said pilots will have plenty of options for how and where to fly the vehicle as a form of “last mile” transportation.
The big bummer about flying cars has always been the safety thing. Aska said it designed its vehicle for the highest safety standards. For example, Aska has large wings and, in the event of an emergency, the large wings can glide the craft to a safe landing. Aska is equipped with dual energy sources, both batteries and an engine. The six propellers, one on each wing, ensure better redundancy for safe landings.
The best in class hybrid propulsion system provides a minimum of 30 minutes reserve flight time, which is a critical requirement by the Federal Aviation Administration today. Aska also includes a ballistic parachute in case of emergency to save the whole aircraft.
In 2020, Aska signed a Space Act Agreement with NASA to advance its participation in the Advanced Air Mobility National Campaign, jointly organized by the FAA. In 2022 the FAA accepted Aska through their intake board and the company is progressing towards Aska’s type certification. Full-scale flight testing will start after the CES.
The Aska A5 is targeted for commercialization in 2026. Pre-order reservations are now being accepted at www.askafly.com.
Based in Los Altos and Mountain View, California, Aska was founded by serial entrepreneurs Guy and Maki Kaplinsky in 2018. Their previous startup, IQP Corporation, was a pioneer in the internet of things and developed a code-free application environment. IQP was acquired by GE Digital in 2017.
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