California-based startup Aska Fly presented a working version of its eVTOL at the annual Consumer Electronics Show 2023. The prototype features proprietary lithium-ion batteries, a range of up to 400 km, and a top speed of up to 240 km/h. Aska plans to certify its full-fledged version of the aero-mobile and launch it on the market in 2026. Moreover, by the beginning of the next decade, the startup will provide its eVTOL with a full-fledged autopilot.
How it starts
Aska Aerospace’s public history began in January 2019. At that time, the Israeli-California-based company, branded NFT Inc., showed off a flying car concept at the Las Vegas Auto Show. The idea of Maki and Guy Kaplinsky, the startup’s founders, was to develop an affordable but reliable aeromobile and put it into mass production. Since then, the company has rarely shared details about its project, but it doesn’t appear to have been sitting idle. And now, in January 2023, it has shown the actual achievements of its engineering.
And how is it going?
Aska’s full-scale eVTOL prototype, the A5, is something between a classic helicopter, an airplane, and a car. The aeromobile can take off both vertically and with a short run-up. Large rotors and a hybrid engine are responsible for the takeoff. The engine combines electric and petrol platforms. Thus, the developers have provided the A5 with an extensive range and severe power with minimal CO2 emissions.
The Aska A5 can accelerate from 0 to 105 km/h in less than five seconds. According to Guy Kaplinsky, Aska’s CEO, the aeromobile needs a runway of 76 meters in length to achieve such a result. At the same time, the A5 can also take off “from the ground” – the rotor wings are unfolded, locked, and then powered by the eVTOL.
An additional feature of the A5 is its power sources. The developers made no compromises, so they created their own battery. This is a high-capacity lithium-ion platform that can be charged at home. At the same time, it is enough to fly up to 400 kilometers without recharging. The maximum speed of the A5 is 240 km/h.
Aska is already working with several agencies to make the A5 legal for street and air transportation. The work to certify the vehicle has already begun and will include many tests. ASKA will have to obtain certifications for the A5 from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
The ambitious startup expects to certify and commercialize the A5 by 2026. Aska will launch mass production in the same year. The first stage of sales will require a pilot’s license to operate the eVTOL, but by 2030 the developer intends to equip it with a full-fledged autopilot. In this case, the A5 owner will only need to sit in a chair, specify the desired address and quickly get to his destination.
Now Aska is already accepting deposits for the first production A5, which will be produced in limited editions. The cost per copy is $789,000. The startup promises to make life much easier for its customers using patented technology. In this matter, Aska is positioning itself as a company that will change the way people used to travel and commute from home to work. Well, we will look forward to seeing that in the future.