March 27, 2023

Watch footage of the XPeng AeroHT flying car making its maiden flight

Following XPeng’s recent 1024 Tech Day event in China earlier this week, we’ve finally been able to share footage of its latest generation eVTOL built by AeroHT. As promised during the presentation, XPeng’s flying car prototype completed its maiden flight and has the receipts to prove it. You have to see this.

Earlier this week, we provided a recap of XPeng’s annual 1024 Tech Day, where the company showcases new and upcoming products and services while teasing some of the advanced technologies it’s developing for the future. For the second year in a row, XPeng’s UAM division AeroHT took the show with a flying car prototype.

The unique eVTOL, which can drive on roads and navigate in the air, was first revealed at XPeng’s 1024 Tech Day in 2021, which included stylish renderings and an animated video. This year’s show included the news that the XPeng AeroHT team had updated the design of the sixth-generation eVTOL from a horizontal twin-rotor structure to a new distributed multi-rotor configuration.

The company also said that the complexity of the eVTOL’s overall system design had been reduced to ensure better safety and reliability during flights. Best of all, the prototype had been built and had completed its maiden flight. Naturally, we were eager to see this footage, but it was shared at the end of the Tech Day presentation in China, and we had to wait for the full video to be translated into English and released.

In the meantime, we shared a cool video of XPeng’s latest flying car in action, but once again it was animated and not real. Today, however, we’ve got our hands on footage of the maiden flight, and it’s unlike anything we’ve ever seen, though it’s not without journalistic skepticism and future safety concerns. Check it out below.

Source: XPeng AeroHT

Watch XPeng’s flying car take off, fly and land

As promised, we were able to track down and share footage of the flying car in flight straight from the end of XPeng’s flipped Tech Day presentation. There’s a lot more cool tech coming from this Chinese automaker, so we recommend checking out the entire show if you’ve got the time.

Anyway, back to flying. As you will soon see, the flying car prototype drives onto the tarmac, engages its propellers and takes off vertically as the XPeng AeroHT team watches with bated breath. A flying car doesn’t move too much, but it reaches a reasonable height before descending back to Earth and stays afloat thanks to the vehicle’s suspension and tires.

Watch the video below and discuss it. Does this look legit? Is this the future of mobility a la The Jetsons? Or are we on the fast track to championship?

Electrek’s Take

This footage is as scary and disturbing as it is exciting and awe-inspiring. There are many ways XPeng and AeroHT could have pulled off this flying car video, perhaps using a lighter vehicle or cardboard parts. But in my interactions with the team and its engineers, that doesn’t seem like their style. He Xiaopeng is not Trevor Milton, and AeroHT is something he has personally invested in in addition to XPeng Inc.’s funding.

No matter how viable this flying car is, there’s no denying the fact that we haven’t seen anything like this before. UAM continues to grow and move closer to reality every day with eVTOL models designed more like an airplane, but XPeng has combined the car. Flying car.

At its core, the mere fact that XPeng and AeroHT were able to envision such a flying car, assemble a prototype and get it airborne is commendable. Even if it doesn’t become a scaled production vehicle, its challenge to the status quo and proof of what’s possible is perhaps more valuable. We need more of that kind of thinking and tinkering.

Obviously, there are major safety issues with propellers and serious regulations and safe practices are needed before this becomes a viable mobility segment, but it’s a tedious job that’s a lot easier than building a vehicle that can drive, retract the propellers. and take off. Read that sentence again. What a time to be alive.

XPeng and AeroHT are far from the beautiful rendering shown in the image above, but by developing and testing this flying car on a video screen, they’re probably closer to delivering one than anyone else out there. You simply can’t beat people for trying. They should be celebrated.

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