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IPFS News Link • Transportation

Astonishing eVTOL flying car design uses side panels as biplane wings

•, By Loz Blain

This wild design debuts a 2-axis tilting cabin, and a horizontal cruise flight mode unlike anything we've seen before.

Running entirely on batteries, the Model A uses four hub motors to get around on the street, in a hyper-minimalist frame that looks almost insubstantial from above. In the middle is a round, glassed-over one- or two-seat cabin that's completely isolated from the external bodywork. Indeed, if you want to hop inside, you need to open separate doors in the bodywork and the cabin itself.

The upward-facing parts of the bodywork are made as a lightweight 3D mesh, and if you guessed there are lift rotors beneath for VTOL purposes, you'd be right. As a drone-style airframe, the Model A runs an octacopter setup, with eight propellers, each with maybe a two-foot (61 cm) diameter, and the mesh skin allows air to flow smoothly through the car.

This is about as far as many designers would take the idea, and they'd end up with an acceptable enough multicopter-style flight platform as a result, which would be severely limited in range by its weight and the stiflingly low energy density of today's batteries. But Alef has designed this thing to be much more interesting. Once you're airborne, the cabin rotates 90 degrees to the side, so you're facing sideways. Then, as you go to move forward, the cabin is gimballed to remain level as the airframe tilts around you.