Skimmer (concept design)
Guangzhou, Guangdong, China
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.
XPeng Motors was founded in 2014 by He Xiaopeng, Henry Xia and He Tao and is a leading Chinese all-electric vehicle and technology company that designs, develops and manufactures intelligent automobiles that are seamlessly integrated with the Internet and utilize the latest advances in artificial intelligence. The company's headquarters are located in Guangzhou, China.
The company's manufacturing philosophy centers around quality, continuous improvement, flexibility and high operating efficiency. XPeng's goal is to make smart electric vehicles with technology and data, and shape the consumer mobility experience of the future. XPeng went public in the U.S. in August 2020 and has completed a dual-primary listing in Hong Kong.
When Zhao Deli was very young, he 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 then 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 and XPeng AeroHT was formed. Before XPeng AeroHT was formed, Deli's two previous and now defunct eVTOL companies were named GroundAero and Heitech Aeronautics & Astronautics.
The Skimmer eVTOL concept design is a sporty one passenger open cockpit multicopter appears to have been made for Urban Air Mobility (UAM), air racing and off road adventures. The cockpit has solid sides with an open air cockpit, allowing the pilot to be in the open air when flying. The aircraft has four booms with two propellers on each end of the booms for vertical and forward flight, for a grand total of eight propellers for the entire aircraft.
It looks like instruments are viewed using a glass cockpit, literally a piece of glass which apparently can be seen through when the aircraft is off. The aircraft has some distinguishing features such as open cockpit with solid sides but with no canopy, and has long retractable booms for the propellers allowing the aircraft to be parked in a standard parking space or stored efficiently. The skid type landing gear reduces the complexity of the aircraft and both sides of the rear skids have a wide sloping step for ease of entry and exit by the pilot. The aircraft has large fixed airliner winglet-styled wings attached on both sides of the rear of the fuselage and an inverted U tail is fixed above the rear of the aircraft.
Several of Deli's other eVTOL concept designs are the XPeng AeroHT Cruiser and the XPeng AeroHT Sport.
- Aircraft type: eVTOL passenger hoverbike multicopter (concept design)
- Piloting: 1 person
- Propellers: 8 propellers on booms, the booms are retractable for ease of storage or to fit inside a standard parking space
- Electric Motors: 8 electric motors
- Fuselage: Light weight material
- Cockpit: The cockpit is enclosed but there is no canopy. Cockpit has an open canopy
- Rear wing: A large fixed winglet-styled wing attached on both sides of the rear of the fuselage
- Tail: Inverted U tail
- Landing gear: Fixed skid type landing gear. Has a wide sloping step on the rear of the landing skids for ease of entry and exit.
- 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. Has protective shielding on the outer sides of the propellers to protect the aircraft propellers, objects and people near the propellers while flying, in VTOL mode or on the ground. Wide sloping step for ease of entry and exit.
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- XPeng Motors website
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