Like similar outlandish ideas, such as Jay Leno’s wild jet car concept, the Model A started from a flying car drawing on a piece of napkin in 2015, per Alef. It took the company only four years to come up with a functional flying prototype, then another three years to unveil the Model A to the public. A YouTube video of its grand reveal shows a futuristic-looking vehicle with a unique mesh pattern exterior. This design was meant to allow air to flow through its chassis, which hides multiple propellers underneath. Powering the first-ever VTOL car hybrid are four small electric motors situated on each wheel. So, how does a wingless car fly, exactly?
After using its propellers to lift itself off the ground, the Model A’s chassis flips backward, while its cockpit swivels forward like a gimbal. It utilizes the bulk of its body like integrated wings when propelling itself forward mid-air, turning the car into a fully-functional biplane. But when it’s time to land, the Model A simply converts back into car form, then hovers back down like a helicopter. Having no discernible protruding wing parts allows this flying car to fit in places where other UAVs or similar winged vehicles struggle, foregoing the need for wide helipads or parking spaces. If all this sounds too far-fetched for real-life usage, Alef claims a prototype had already accomplished numerous successful test flights. Sure, this flying car concept seems to check all the boxes, but is it actually attainable?