Flying car model unveiled at Mobile World Congress

Working scale model of a flying car at Mobile World Congress tech show in Barcelona, 2024.
Working scale model of a flying car at Mobile World Congress tech show in Barcelona, 2024. Copyright AP /ALEF AERONAUTICS
By AP
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A working model of a car that can fly at the Mobile World Congress tech show in Barcelona has sky-high ambitions.

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The Alef flying car was presented in Barcelona as a prototype vehicle of the future.

It’s being developed by a California-based company of the same name.

The company wants to produce cars that can drive on roads but also take off and land vertically and fly through the air.

"It's really a flying car like the one you know from science fiction,” says Constantine Kisly, Chief Technology Office for Alef Aeronautics.

“So it drives and flies. So why should it have a flying option? That's how you can use it efficiently, how we can drive efficiently without traffic. So why drive? Driving option is the goal not to change existing infrastructure."

The company has already built two working prototypes.

They can carry two people and the aim is to have a driving range of 200 miles (320 kilometres) and a flying range of 200 miles.

"It has eight motors, electric propulsion. We're using the LiPo (lithium polymer) batteries, available on the market, so, the idea's to go on the market as fast as possible. We are not particular stuck on the particular powertrain, so we can use hydrogen, for example. Hydrogen cells, yes, definitely," says Kisly.

Alef projects that these cars will initially cost around $300,000 (€376,600)when they first hit the market.

But they hope to bring the cost down to closer to the price of a typical sedan, once they are produced at volume.

The company believes that flying cars are the solution to relieving congested roads.

"We are in the business of solving traffic problems. It's a big challenge for cities, for humanity. And that's what we are doing. We are thinking to use the airspace. So you can go under the ground. You can do things on the ground. So we're are going above the ground," explains Kisly.

Alef hopes to start production by the end of 2025 – just as long as air traffic regulations are adapted to allow them in the air.

Alef is one of several companies developing many air taxis and air car prototypes around the world.

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