ASKA™ A5 (production model)
Los Altos, California, USA www.askafly.com
Founded in 2018 in Los Altos, California, USA, ASKA™ is developing a hybrid-electric vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) and short takeoff and landing (STOL) passenger aircraft that will work both as an aircraft and ground car (or a drive-fly vehicle). The company opened a modern showroom for the public in Los Altos on April 15, 2021. On June 7, 2019, ASKA™ unveiled its ASKA™ 1.0 concept design and provided the Vertical Flight Society with an interview and details on its vehicle. ASKA™ means 'flying bird' in Japanese, and the company said "it’s the first viable eVTOL vehicle that can both drive on the road and fly autonomously in the sky."
The company foresees door-to-door same road-and-air vehicle as the best method for the emerging advanced air mobility (AAM) industry. A big advantage for this vehicle is there is no need to travel to airports and there will be no need to pay for on-demand ground taxi service. The passenger's entire trip will be in one vehicle. The company will eventually transition the aircraft to be an all electric aircraft when battery technology has enough energy density to fly long distances and are completely safe to use for air travel.
The ASKA™ A5 is an autonomous on-demand hybrid-electric VTOL (and STOL) four passenger aircraft and roadable vehicle production model. The company made the A5's first public appearance of its fully-functional prototype at CES 2023 (Consumer Electronics Show) that took place Jan. 5-8, 2023 in Las Vegas, Nevada, USA. The cruise speed in the air is 150 mph (241 km/h) and its top speed on the ground is 70 mph (113 km/h). The range (in the air) of the aircraft is 250 miles (402 km). The aircraft can either take off and land vertically, or take off and land on conventional runways.
The aircraft has six electric propellers and six electric motors mounted on foldable canard wings. The large rear wing is optimized for gliding, smooth landings and efficient energy consumption while each tilt rotor is used for vehicle control. The aircraft has large windows providing excellent views for the passengers. Two rear vertical stabilizers are used for additional aerodynamic control.
The A5 is the size of an SUV and has a spacious interior. In drive mode, the ASKA™ A5 has in-wheel motor technology and has all-wheel drive traction. The wheels are located outside the fuselage for better aerodynamics and to also maximize the interior of the vehicle.
ASKA™'s development and flight testing is being conducted in accordance with Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) guidelines for certification. ASKA™ has also signed a five-year Space Act Agreement with NASA to advance their participation in NASA’s Advanced Air Mobility National Campaign (AAM), jointly organized with the FAA.
In 2023, the company announced the ASKA™ A5 is available for pre-order sales. The company is also developing an affordable on-demand ride-sharing service and is expected to launch this service in 2026 in major cities, subject to FAA certification.
Aircraft type: Autonomous on-demand hybrid-electric eVTOL air and roadable vehicle
Capacity: 4 passengers
Cruise speed (air): 150 mph (241 km/h)
Cruise speed (ground) 70 mph (113 km/h)
Range: 250 miles (402 km)
Propellers: 6 electric propellers
Electric motors: 6 electric motors
Power source: Lithium ion batteries and engine
Fuselage: Carbon fiber composite
Windows: Panoramic wrap around windows allowing forward, left, right visibility, for spectacular views with a solid roof above the passenger compartment
Wings: Foldable canard wings
Tail: Two vertical stabilizers
Landing gear: Fixed quadricycle wheeled landing gear and used for ground transportation
Safety features: Distributed Electric Propulsion (DEP), provides safety through redundancy for its passengers and/or cargo. DEP means having multiple propellers (or ducted fans) and motors on the aircraft so if one or more propellers (ducted fans) or motors fail, the other working propellers (or ducted fans) and motors can safely land the aircraft. There are also redundancies in the sub-systems of the aircraft.
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