Sport Utility Aircraft (defunct)
GroundAero (defunct company)
Zhao Deli in Guangdong, China, created a company called Ground Aero with the goal of making electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) aircraft for advanced air mobility (AAM). The website www.groundaero.com was first recorded online on Nov. 11, 2020 and by December 2022, the Ground Aero website was gone.
From when he was young, Zhao always liked electronics, science and had the dream to fly. In 2008, Zhao by chance, saw a group of people flying remote-controlled model aircraft which sparked his interest in flying again. He began to work on, study and learn to make model aircraft, including drones and helicopters and learned how to make them fly.
After making electric drones for several years (including a hybrid-electric drone), Zhao started his own company in 2010 to sell drones. The company created five different drone models to manufacture and sell. Then around 2016, Zhao read about a hover surfboard from Canada, this information was the catalyst to for him to begin building an eVTOL hoverbike for one passenger.
He started out funding himself with his own money, by selling his home and borrowing money from friends. He has now attracted investors to keep his research going. After his drone company went bankrupt, Zhao Deli attracted an investment of $2.8 million (USD), all from Chinese venture capitalists.
With funding from XPeng Motors, XPeng AeroHT was founded in 2020 as one of its subdivisions and is located in Guangzhou, Guangdong, China. XPeng AeroHT is in the business of designing and manufacturing electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) passenger aircraft for advanced air mobility (AAM). The company was orginally founded as Heitech in 2013 by Zhao Deli in Dongguan, Guangdong, China and was later purchased by XPeng Motors. He Xiaopeng is the Chairman and CEO of XPeng Motors and the Chairman of XPeng AeroHT. Zhao Deli is currently the president of XPeng AeroHT, Wang Tan is the co-founder, vice president and chief designer of XPeng AeroHT and Zheng Congwei is the vice president of XPeng AeroHT.
The Sport Utility Aircraft is a one passenger eVTOL prototype aircraft which has the seating position of a passenger that is similar to a go-cart. The aircraft in fact, almost looks like a go-cart with propellers. The aircraft has eight propellers and eight electric motors, is powered by lithium-ion batteries and has four fixed landing struts. An interesting feature of the eVTOL, is it has a steering wheel to control the aircraft.
For storage and when transporting the aircraft, the propeller booms fold into the aircraft, making it so compact, that it is easy to carry and can easily be transported using a SUV, van or cargo aircraft. The company is selling their all-electric Sport Utility Aircraft as pure fun, making sure that all the consumer needs to do, is to carry it, then unfold it and then fly it. The company was taking orders for the aircraft at the time but the company ceased to exist. Deli's next eVTOL aircraft, a one passenger hoverbike, was called the Magic Cloud.
- Aircraft type: eVTOL passenger sport utility aircraft (prototype)
- Piloting: 1 person
- Cruise speed: Unknown
- Range: Unknown
- Flight time: 15-25 minutes
- Propellers: 8 propellers
- Electric Motors: 8 electric motors
- Maximum payload weight: 220 lb (100 Kg)
- Power source: Lithium-ion batteries
- Charging time: 3 hours
- Fuselage: Light weight material
- Landing gear: Four landing struts
- Ease of storage and transportation: The electric propeller booms are foldable to make it easy to carry and transport the aircraft in a ground or air vehicle
- 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.
- GroundAero (offline)
- GroundAero YouTube Channel
- XPeng AeroHT website
- XPeng AeroHT Facebook
- XPeng AeroHT Twitter
- XPeng AeroHT YouTube
- XPeng AeroHT TikTok
- XPeng AeroHT Instagram
- XPeng AeroHT LinkedIn
- XPeng Motors website
- XPeng Motors Facebook
- XPeng Motors Twitter
- XPeng Motors YouTube Channel
- XPeng Motors LinkedIn
- Article: Chinese man sells his house to fund flying motorcycle, Global Times, July 25, 2018
- Article: Chinese Inventor Develops Working Drone Motorcycle, The Drive, July 28, 2018
- Video: World's first commercially available foldable Sport Utility Aircraft, Fly Groundaero, Sep 17, 2019
- Video: GroundAero Sport Utility Aircraft - Drone mode, GroundAero, Nov. 7, 2019