How to Drive a Flying Car
Ever wondered what it would be like to control a flying car? An amazing video posted online by Chinese urban air mobility company HT Aero has provided some fascinating insight.
HT Aero is based in Guangzhou and part of the wider empire of automaker XPeng, which is delivering such diverse products as Tesla-rivaling electric vehicles and bizarre domestic robotic ponies. (LINK WHEN LIVE)
But HT Aero, which is also known as XPeng Huitian, has ambitious plans of its own, having promised to deliver a flying car by 2024 and previewed what it has in store with some dramatic videos on YouTube over the past year.
The latest video of an eVTOL (electric vertical take-off and landing) aircraft was clearly intended to illustrate how a flying car would be operated.
In a caption accompanying the video, the company said: “We hope that the final driving mode is as simple and easy to learn as a car.”
Although the design of the aircraft itself is a long way from what might be feasibly expected from a production flying car, there are some obvious links – most particularly the steering wheel, which has been sourced from XPeng Motors.
The eVTOL footage suggests that the steering wheel is used to control turns to the left and the right, while a throttle to the right of the wheel is responsible for moving the machine forward and back, as well as up and down.
HT Aero has been actively pursuing the idea of a flying car for several years, but really started to gain momentum with the Voyager X1, which was revealed in 2021 and appears to be the inspiration for what is featured in the latest video.
The company has also showcased the X2 which shares much of its design DNA with XPeng Motors’ P7 sedan, essentially a challenger to the Tesla Model 3.
XPeng chairman and CEO He Xiaopeng spelled out his vision for flying cars earlier this year.
“The flying car in our eyes is not an aircraft,” he said. “A flying car should be a smart electric vehicle in the city and a low-altitude aircraft in the suburbs. In the past eight years, the XPeng Huitian team’s main focus has been on aircraft, but now and for many years to come, it will focus on the coupling of aircraft and cars. Flying cars will become a branch of cars in the future.”