The term ‘flying car’ is sometimes used by laypersons when describing eVTOLs, but it’s usually inaccurate. Most eVTOLs are designed purely for flight and have no capabilities for road transport. Enter NFT Inc. and its mission to develop a vehicle that is capable of traversing both the roads and the sky — the ASKA flying car.
In some ways it is the ultimate sci-fi fantasy vehicle. For almost as long as there have been regular cars, people have imagined flying cars, and they have been depicted in countless stories and movies. It’s easy to see the appeal — drive on the road when you want, then simply flip a switch and become airborne when you need to. As far as hybrid use transport is concerned, a flying car is the holy grail. NFT Inc. believes it is very close to cracking the code. So close, in fact, that it is now offering pre-orders for the ASKA.
ASKA is touted as the world’s first consumer drive and fly eVTOL. As you may have guessed, the consumer part means that they are aiming the vehicle at individuals and not at a mass market or for commercial uses. This differs from the way in which other eVTOL companies are positioning themselves — for example EHang’s focus on an emerging tourist market and Wisk Aero’s focus on passenger transportation. NFT Inc. is setting its sights squarely on individuals as its future customers.
The vehicle itself has four seats and is around the size of a regular SUV. Until it extends its retractable wings, that is. Then it expands in size and offers the ability to vertically take off and land. It is electrically powered, has six battery packs and a range of 250 miles.
The idea is that ASKA will provide its owners with true door-to-door mobility and totally change the daily commute and living options. With a range of 250 miles, the options of where to live in relation to your workplace are dramatically opened up. You could fly your ASKA from your home to a city center vertipad, then drive the rest of the distance to your workplace and park in a standard parking lot. Your living radius is then not confined by accessibility to main roads, and you also eliminate all of time you would be spending in traffic.
If this all sounds very appealing to you, you’ll still have to wait until around 2026 to get one, as this is the mooted delivery date. There will be plenty of regulatory hurdles to clear before then, but in a sign of its confidence, an ASKA showroom opened up in Los Angeles in April, 2021. A limited presale of 1,500 vehicles was also announced. The computer generated preview of the vehicle does look impressive and is something we would definitely like to see become a reality.
Image courtesy ASKA