Chinese Helicopter Research and Development Institute (CHRDI)
Jingdezhen, Jiangxi province, China
As of the fall of 2020, billions of dollars have already been spend to create electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) and hybrid-electric VTOL aircraft for Urban Air Mobility (UAM). However, it turns out that back in 2015, the Chinese Helicopter Research and Development Institute's (CHRDI), which is part of AVIC, were quite the visionaries and revealed a hybrid-electric flying car at the third China Helicopter Exposition held in September 2015.
Not much is known about the Syland flying car but the vehicle has been designed with the ability to fly in the air or drive on roads. This one passenger vehicle is quite light, weighing in at only 100 kg (220 lb) which would lead us to believe the vehicle uses carbon fiber material for its fuselage and possibly other parts on the VTOL vehicle. A YouTube new report from China in September 2015, reveals pictures of the car at the China Helicopter Exposition trade show and it shows video of a subscale flying prototype.
The vehicle is streamlined (and has a similar body style to the Japanese made Speed Racer, Mach 5, a cartoon vehicle) has four wheels for driving on the road, the tires double as landing gear and has six propellers for flying. The propellers, for vertical and forward flight, are located on the four corners of the car with two at the center of the body. An interesting design element is that the six propellers are on booms and are retractable, to allow the passenger to drive safely on any road and will allow the vehicle to park safely in a standard parking space.
The company hints that the compound vehicle will have computer aided navigation and flight controls, although they have not mentioned online, about estimated flying cruise speed, range, and cruse altitude nor have they mentioned any estimated driving speeds or driving range. The company also does not provide any information if this vehicle is something they will pursue to advance Urban Air Mobility in China.
- Aircraft type: Hybrid-electric VTOL or eVTOL flying car
- Piloting: Unknown
- Capacity: 1 passenger
- Flying cruise speed: Unknown
- Driving cruise speed: Unknown
- Flying range: Unknown
- Driving range: Unknown
- Empty weight: 100 kg (220 lb)
- Propellers: 6 propellers, retractable for driving on the road
- Electric Motors: 6 electric motors
- Power source: Unknown
- Windows: Panoramic window allowing forward, left, right and top visibility
- Landing gear: 4 wheels
- Safety Features: Distributed Electric Propulsion (DEP), provides safety through redundancy for its passengers and/or cargo. DEP means having multiple propellers and motors on the aircraft so if one or more motors or propellers fail, the other working motors and propellers can safely land the aircraft.
- CHRDI AVIC website
- CHRDI AVIC web page listing: New Concept Helicopters
- Article: Amazing China-made flying car expected to serve in the army, People's Daily Online, Sept. 9, 2015
- Video: Flying car makes debut at China's Helicopter Expo, CCTV English, Sep 15, 2015
- Video: Sai Ling: flying car Made in China with 6 Propellers, Oct. 15, 2015
- Article: Aircraft Made in Jiangxi reviewed, Phoenix New Media, Sept. 19, 2019