A California start-up—whose CEO and co-founder is Jewish and which is named, in part, for the first Hebrew letter—recently received U.S. Federal Aviation Administration approval to test a flying car.
The FAA “airworthiness certificate” for Alef Aeronautics’ Model A flying car marks “the first time such a vehicle has obtained U.S. government approval to fly,” the Economist reported. “Alef aims to start selling its fully electric car, which can take off and land vertically as well as drive on roads, by the end of 2025,” the magazine added.
Alef’s Jewish co-founder and CEO Jim Dukhovny has said he was motivated by the Jewish concept of kindness when he created the company. (Another motivation? The flying car in “Back to the Future,” he said.)
The company’s name, per its website, derives from “the first letter of a Phoenician, Aramaic, Hebrew, Arabic, Persian, Syrian and other alphabets.” That signifies “the leading position Alef will eventually occupy in the hearts, minds and garages of the public,” it stated.
“The vehicle features drone-like internal propellers and a promised range of 200 miles over land and 110 in the air,” Architectural Digest reported. “The certification notes that this is not the first aircraft of its kind, but Alef claims primacy as the first driveway-friendly, road-going EV with vertical take-off and landing capabilities.”
The flying car concept involves rising up via eight rotating blades, after which the entire car rotates on its side, Newsweek reported. “World’s first flying car turns sideways to enter ‘airplane mode,’” NewsNation added.