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'One Giant Step for Cars.' The FAA Clears a $300,000 Flying Vehicle for Take Off. Alef's Model A allows drivers to 'hop' over obstacles in the road.

By Jonathan Small

Alef Aeronautics

The Jetsons may not be far off from the future.

The world's first flying car is one step closer to reality after the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) approved it for Special Airworthiness Certification, allowing the company to begin testing flights this month.

Alef Aeronautics "Model A" flying car is fully electric and drivable on the streets and in the air, with vertical takeoff and landing capabilities. The FAA's clearance marked the first time a vehicle like this has received legal approval from the US Government.

"This is one small step for planes, one giant step for cars," said Alef CEO Jim Dukhovny in a press statement, adding that the certification from the FAA "allows us to move closer to bringing people an environmentally friendly and faster commute, saving individuals and companies hours each week."

Related: Make Millions in Flying Car Stocks Before They Take Off

How the Model A works

The Model A has a driving range of 200 miles and a flying range of 110 miles and fits two passengers in its cockpit.

The sports car has a carbon-fiber body with an open, mesh-like top with four propellers on each side. Once the car takes off vertically, it turns on its side, allowing the propellers to steer it like a massive drone.

In an interview with CNBC, Dukhovny explained the car is mostly meant to stay on the road but can take flight for short heights and distances to avoid obstacles. He calls those moments "hop" scenarios, "where the customer mainly uses the vehicle as a car, and only 'hop' over the obstacles when needed."

Long waiting list

Dukhovny told news outlets last year that customers can expect the flying car to hit the sky by 2025. The sticker price is $300,000.

Despite the car's high cost, enthusiasts are already lining up to be the first to own the new flying car.

In Q4 last year, the company reported that 440 people had placed deposits for the car. Those shelling out $150 joined the general queue, and those who paid $1,500 will get priority access when deliveries begin.

Alef may be the first flying car on the market, but it won't be the only one. Boeing and Fiat Chrysler are in a space race to get their cars into the air. Toyota and Uber have been busily testing flying taxi concepts. And Joby Aviation's stock soared 44% after receiving a Special Airworthiness Certificate from the FAA.

Jonathan Small

Entrepreneur Staff

Founder, Write About Now Media

Jonathan Small is an award-winning author, journalist, producer, and podcast host. For 25 years, he has worked as a sought-after storyteller for top media companies such as The New York Times, Hearst, Entrepreneur, and Condé Nast. He has held executive roles at Glamour, Fitness, and Entrepreneur and regularly contributes to The New York Times, TV Guide, Cosmo, Details, Maxim, and Good Housekeeping. He is the former “Jake” advice columnist for Glamour magazine and the “Guy Guru” at Cosmo.

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