eVTOL prototype of a flying four-seater electric car was presented by the California startup ASKA. It should take off in 2026.
The ASKA A5 has large wings with six rotors that fold in while driving. The aircar is powered by a proprietary lithium-ion battery powered power system with a gasoline engine that acts as an onboard range extender. This dual power source provides a range of 402 km.
In drive mode, the ASKA A5 incorporates engine-in-wheel technology that allows all four wheels to be placed outside the fuselage for all-wheel drive, better aerodynamics and maximum interior space to comfortably accommodate 4 passengers.
In flight mode, the wings of the six-rotor vehicle deploy, allowing the vehicle to take off vertically or take off normally from a runway. Interestingly, eVTOL can take off vertically wherever a helicopter can, but it can also take off from a conventional runway. Routine takeoff and landing on a runway can improve the energy efficiency of a vehicle.
The ASKA requires a compact VTOL or VTOL space and can fit in existing parking spaces. The car can be charged at home and at electric vehicle charging stations, and the extended range engine runs on premium gasoline sourced from existing vehicle filling stations.
The same dual-engine arrangement acts as a safety feature and provides a minimum of 30 minutes of reserve flight time, a critical FAA requirement today. ASKA also includes an emergency ballistic parachute to safely descend to the ground.
ASKA A5 is already available for pre-order. The company is developing an affordable, on-demand sharing service that uses its eVTOL vehicles.