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See the Alef Model A Flying Car Prototype

Alef Aeronautics unveils a prototype aircraft it hopes will drive on the roads but also pop into the air to avoid traffic.

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stephenshankland.jpg
Stephen Shankland
Stephen Shankland has been a reporter at CNET since 1998 and writes about processors, digital photography, AI, quantum computing, computer science, materials science, supercomputers, drones, browsers, 3D printing, USB, and new computing technology in general. He has a soft spot in his heart for standards groups and I/O interfaces. His first big scoop was about radioactive cat poop.
Stephen Shankland
An Alef Model A flying car prototype shows a mesh-topped body to let air through to its propellers
1 of 8 Stephen Shankland/CNET

Alef Model A flying car

The top surface of the Alef Model A flying car is an open mesh to let air flow through. The body houses four propellers on one side of the passenger bubble and four propellers on the other side.

A computer rendering of the Alef Model A flying forward
2 of 8 Stephen Shankland/CNET

Alef Model A flying forward

This computer rendering shows how Alef expects its cars to fly horizontally, with the body tilted upward so the propellers inside can move it forward.

Alef Aeronautics CEO Jim Dukhovny speaks before a prototype of his company's flying car
3 of 8 Stephen Shankland/CNET

Alef CEO Jim Dukhovny

Alef Aeronautics CEO Jim Dukhovny, standing in front of the Alef Modal A prototype, shows on a screen how a passenger will stay feet-down in the bubble as the flying car rotates around the bubble into its forward flight configuration.

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4 of 8 Stephen Shankland/CNET

Alef Zero flying car prototype

This single-passenger Alef prototype can fly, but only has small wheels. It's not designed to test the company's eventual plan to make a roadworthy flying car.

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5 of 8 Stephen Shankland/CNET

Inside the Alef Zero prototype

Inside this boxy Alef Zero prototype, you can see eight propellers, the passenger compartment and the sides of the car that become wings as the aircraft tilts toward forward flight — a maneuver the company hasn't yet tested with a human pilot.

A boxy Alef flying car prototype with a bulbous passenger compartment on top
6 of 8 Stephen Shankland/CNET

Alef Zero flying car prototype

A second team is creating a second Alef Zero prototype. The startup hopes having two independent teams will mean faster progress.

A front view of the Alef Model A flying car
7 of 8 Stephen Shankland/CNET

Front view of the Alef Model A

This Alef Model A doesn't yet have propellers inside its body and so can't yet fly, but the startup hopes that'll happen in the coming months.

A, sleek dark gray flying car prototype is topped with with an aerodynamic dome for passengers
8 of 8 Stephen Shankland/CNET

Alef Model A prototype flying car

Alef Aeronautics' Alef Model A flying car on stage.

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