See inside a revolutionary flying car that will cost $789,000 and just started test flights

See inside a revolutionary flying car that will cost $789,000 and just started test flights
  • Flying cars could finally be on the horizon.

  • Aska, a California-based startup, is working on an electric aircraft that can drive on US roads.

  • The Aska A5 is scheduled to land in 2026 with a price tag near $800,000.

Flying cars may be closer to reality than you think.

Northern California-based startup Aska is trying to finally deliver what humans have been dreaming about for decades: A car that can drive on the road and then, with the flip of a switch, take off into the sky, "Back to the Future" style.

Here's what it was like to ride in Aska's first prototype — and what the future may hold if the startup gets off the ground.


Meet the Aska A5, a bizarre-looking helicopter-car hybrid that could finally make the dream of flying cars a reality.

The Aska prototype flying car on a tarmac.
Aska's first flying-car prototype is definitely more aircraft than car. Tim Levin/Insider

The world has been collectively obsessed with the idea of cars that can drive and fly for decades, but they haven't taken off in any real way yet. Aska wants to change that.

The California-based startup has been working on developing its flying car since 2018.

The Aska A5 flying car prototype viewed from the frot.
Aska is targeting commuters who want to live farther from cities. Tim Levin/Insider

It recently finished its first prototype (pictured here), which I got to ride in and see for myself. My test ride lasted about 10 minutes, and we stuck to the ground.

Read more: I've reviewed 27 electric vehicles, including a $2 million supercar and a $20,000 3-wheeler. Here's what makes them all unique.


Its prototype recently won approval for flight testing by the Federal Aviation Administration, and Aska has done some hovering so far.

A view from the rear of the Aska flying car prototype.
The A5 is only designed to travel 10 miles or less. Tim Levin/Insider

It's the second flying car startup to get FAA certification this year, after Alef Aeronautics.

The firm wants to revolutionize commuting and help customers live farther away from their offices in expensive cities like San Francisco, Aska CEO and cofounder Guy Kaplinsky told me during my test ride.

A rendering of the Aska A5 flying car.
A rendering of the Aska A5 flying car.Aska

Aska says the A5 will be able to cruise at 150 mph and travel 250 miles between fueling stops. It's powered by electric motors and a range-extending gas generator.

The A5 will be able to take off and land vertically, like a drone or helicopter, as well as horizontally, like a regular plane.

The nose of the Aska A5 flying car prototype.
Aska plans to offer a car-sharing service for commuters. Tim Levin/Insider

Its rear wing and propellers can rotate 90 degrees to switch between forward flight or vertical landings. Other companies are working on electric vertical take-off and landing vehicles (commonly called eVTOLs), but those flying taxis can't drive on the ground.

For driving on the road, the A5's wings fold inward, creating a more compact, roadworthy package.

The Aska A5 flying car prototype with its wings folded in.
The prototype is about as large as an F-350 pickup. The final car will be about 30% smaller. Tim Levin/Insider

But you should think of it as an aircraft that can drive, rather than a car that can fly. Aska is looking to get the A5 approved for local roads with slower speed limits at first.

Aska doesn't want to replace your car. It only envisions customers driving 10 miles or less, between their home or workplace and a takeoff location.

The rear wheels of Aska's prototype flying car.
Aska's flying car will at first be able to drive on local roads with slower speed limits. Tim Levin/Insider

Still, it wants the A5 to be at least somewhat convenient on the road. The prototype is about the size of a huge Ford F-350 pickup truck, but Aska is targeting the footprint of a more modest F-150 for the final product. That should make it easier to park.

Read more: See inside a test Boeing 777X, which has flown more than 1,300 hours as the planemaker races to certify its new $442 million jet by 2025

The early prototype I saw was pretty bare-bones.

The interior of the Aska A5 flying car.
The prototype's interior was rough and not production-ready. Tim Levin/Insider

The cockpit was rough and the doors barely closed. But that's expected for such an early iteration.

It had little screens instead of side mirrors, six-point harnesses, and all sorts of screens.

The final version will seat four people and have a more refined, screen-heavy interior.

A rendering of the Aska A5 flying car.
A rendering of the Aska A5 flying car.Aska

But Aska says that the production car won't be as luxurious as a high-end car like a Rolls-Royce. Luxury is heavy, and weight is the enemy of flight.

The Aska A5 can be yours for $789,000 to start. The company says it's on track to start deliveries in 2026.

A rendering of the Aska A5 flying car.
A rendering of the Aska A5 flying car.Aska

If that's a little too steep for you, Aska is also planning a more affordable car-sharing service.

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