A number of startups have promised to bring a drive-and-fly vehicle to market in recent years, but so far none have succeeded in getting it through. NFT Inc. is confident that it will succeed where its competitors failed. Pre-orders for ASKA, the company’s first electric flying car, will open on Thursday.
The SUV-sized ASKA (which means “flying bird” in Japanese) can be better described as an airplane that drives than a car that flies. Even when the six rotors are collapsed, the vehicle unmistakably looks like a flying vehicle, with helicopter-like bubble front windows and a distinct tail familiar to anyone who has flown on an airplane.
ASKA is not expected to be delivered before 2026. This is when the company estimates that safety and traffic control regulations have evolved to the point where consumers can encourage the use of new aircraft. A person from the company confirmed that NFT has already received pre-orders for the vehicle, priced at $ 789,000 that includes pilot training.
It is an ambitious goal to be the first company to bring a consumer flying car to market. NFT declined to disclose its supporters, but said that pre-orders – which require a $ 5,000 deposit – are fully refundable.
The company’s co-founders, Guy Kaplinsky and Maki Kaplinsky, told Biomedarticles that aircraft – including the ASKA boss – will fundamentally change urban and suburban life.
“It will change the dynamics of cities,” said Guy Kaplinsky. “Urban air mobility will redefine the suburbs and rural areas,” added Maki Kaplinsky. “It will turn wealth into remote areas [. . .] and I’m sure it will be of great interest to the surrounding suburbs. “
It’s easy to imagine how this might be the case: Freed from the shackles of city life and associated traffic patterns, given ASKA’s 250-mile range, the ultra-rich could relocate to areas outside the suburbs and cities only travel to those areas when they needed or wanted.
What sets ASKA apart from its competitors, according to the co-founders, is that customers don’t have to go to an airport to use the vehicle. Likewise, regulators would not have to worry about a large influx of urban air mobility users at airports. Instead, they developed ASKA for door-to-door transport. The driver only needs enough space so that the vehicle can unfold its wings and rotor blades. While ASKA can take off on a runway like a conventional airplane, it can also be lifted vertically like a helicopter. Guy Kaplinsky explained that the conventional takeoff is less energy intensive and that customers can choose this form of takeoff in a rural area with lots of space and land vertically in the city.
Each rotor will be equipped with an independent battery pack. However, the company has also decided to install two range extenders for redundancy that allow power to be supplied via gasoline. The two middle rotors of the aircraft can also act as wings and help planing in an emergency.
“Most of our users will be new pilots and safety is number one for us,” said Guy Kaplinsky. “The problem right now is that [battery] Cell. There isn’t a chemical cell designer in the world who would tell you that his cell wouldn’t fail in the air, and we can’t take that risk. “However, ASKA could go fully electric at some point in the future, depending on developments in battery technology,” Kaplinsky said.
The ASKA will be small enough to be stored in a traditional garage or driveway and can be charged using existing charging stations that are already in place for electric vehicles. ASKA will also work with some EV companies and be equipped with third-party semi-autonomous technology. “Since we are targeting consumers that include non-professional pilots, we believe that semi-autonomous technology will help them feel comfortable with some level of control rather than sitting in a fully autonomous ‘robot’,” said the company spokesman to Biomedarticles. Even if the regulations allow full autonomy at a later date, “we believe that many customers would still appreciate semi-autonomous / some control,” added the spokesman.
NFT aims to reinterpret the shopping experience with the opening of the ASKA showroom on Thursday in Los Altos, California. There, customers can talk to experts in aerodynamics and flight control. If a person is one of the first 1,500 pre-orders, they receive a share in the company and are inducted into the company’s founders’ club. Members can meet with company executives every three to six months.