How Long Before These Are Flying Overhead?
We’ve all seen flying cars in futuristic movies and TV shows and dreamed of a day when we could zoom around the city without being stuck in traffic. Well, that day may be sooner than we think. Xpeng AEROHT, the largest flying car company in Asia, has announced the successful first flight of its electric flying car, the XPENG X2.
The XPENG X2 is a two-seater flying car that produces no carbon dioxide emissions during flight. It is powered by eight electric motors and can fly at a top speed of 180 km/hr (111 mph). The maximum payload is 200kg or 441 lbs, so two large passengers could have a very interesting ride and possibly no luggage. Something tells me they may work on this shortcoming if it ever comes to the “States.”
Upon entering the X2, you are strictly a passenger. The flight is autonomous from start to finish. (Although there is a manual option available)
The XPENG X2 is a step forward in pursuing urban green transportation. It will be suitable for future low-altitude flights in congested urban areas. The XPENG X2 is the company's 5th generation, with the previous versions looking nothing like a car here;
and then evolving into something like this:
The current iteration looks closer to a car in design with the addition of a cockpit, but you still wouldn’t consider this ride to be road worthy:
So the X2 isn’t exactly a flying car at the moment. Call this what it is; still very early in the game. Even more impressive is that the XPENG X2 can take off and land vertically, like a helicopter. This means that it doesn’t require a runway or an airstrip, making it even more convenient for city dwellers. The XPENG X2 can fly for up to 35 minutes on a single charge and can be recharged in just two hours using a standard household outlet.
The first flight of the XPENG X2 was recently conducted at Skydive Dubai, one of the world’s most famous skydiving destinations. Skydive Dubai is also home to the world’s tallest building, the Burj Khalifa. It makes sense this first test flight was completed here as Dubai has always been on the front lines looking for the latest innovations. Regulations are a little less stringent, if you catch my drift. This successful first flight of the XPENG X2 at Skydive Dubai marks an important milestone in the development of flying cars.
It is essential to note this was not a crewed flight. The vehicle took off vertically and hovered in place at a low altitude. After a lengthy amount of hovering, it returned to its landing spot. What is more exciting is where this is going. XPENG has been kind enough to show us a glimpse at the next generation, and you must agree, it finally looks like a car:
Conclusion: The XPENG X2 is just one example of the fantastic things that are being developed in the field of flying cars. With its vertical take-off and landing capability, zero emissions, and fast charging time, the XPENG X2 is poised to revolutionize urban transportation. At this time, the pricing for such a vehicle is a moving target. On the low side, expect to pay north of $155,000. I wouldn’t anticipate these will even be available before 2024. More importantly, where will you be able to fly these? In either case, I can’t wait to see what comes next from this exciting new industry!