Do you dream of flying? The founders of NFT do. Their vision is not just of attaining flight but putting it within reach of individuals—and not just wealthy ones.
NFT Inc., a Silicon Valley developer of Urban Air Mobility (UAM) solutions, put together an international team of experts from both the US and Israel to develop the ASKA, which is featured on the site, askafly.com. The development team has extensive experience in aeronautical and autonomous AI systems, including the most advanced unmanned air vehicles.
The ASKA is an example of an eVTOL—Electric Vertical Take-Off and Landing—vehicle; it can take off and land like a helicopter without the need for a runway. As the video description informs us, its name comes from the Japanese word for a flying bird.
The first public presentation of a scaled demonstrator of the NFT ASKA eVTOL drive and fly vehicle took place just last month at EcoMotion Week, June 10-13th in Tel Aviv, Israel. After Guy Kaplinsky, chairman, cofounder, NFT Inc. returned, he was able to answer some questions for Interesting Engineering.
To start with: he shared its capacity and range. It runs on rechargeable batteries with a range extender (hybrid) propulsion system. That gives it a pretty impressive 350-mile range for flying and a decent 100 miles range for driving.
The vehicle can accommodate up to three people and is the size of a standard SUV, which makes it compact enough (no exposed rotors) to be parked in a standard garage or even a standard parking spot on the street.
In which way is this company distinguishing itself from others in the flying car space?
Kaplinsky said that, while other companies are focusing on things like “air taxis” and “are targeting executives, wealthy people, business travelers for their services,” his design is intended for a different demographic.
Realizing that “the average person can’t pay $100 for a one-way trip,” Kaplinsky believes the other manufacturers are in fact “missing the bigger market potential for Urban Air Mobility (UAM).”
It comes down to daily needs and numbers.