Qingdao City, Shandong Province, China
Entrepreneur Wang Tan, from China, has designed and created an award winning electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) single passenger multicopter for personal and commercial use. As there are not that many flying eVTOL aircraft in China, his prototype drew a lot of attention from Chinese venture capitalists and was financed with several millions of dollars (USD).
Xpeng Heitech is now a technology unit which is majority-owned by Xpeng and its CEO He Xiaopeng. Xpeng is an electric vehicle manufacturer which is headquartered in Guangzhou (China) with offices in Mountain View, California (USA) and is publicly traded on the New York Stock Exchange. Xpeng said in a press release that the Kiwigogo eVTOL aircraft is part of the company’s long term research and development, and the core business and development strategy remain unchanged.
The aircraft has a maximum speed of 72 km/h (45 mph) and a range of 30 km (18.5 miles) or 30 minutes, which ever comes first. The original name of the aircraft was the Kiwigogo T-One (was also written as T-1 and A-1) but as of September 2020, the aircraft's name has been shortened to Kiwigogo. The first flight for the aircraft was June 2018.
As of the 2020, Xpeng has been working on their eVTOL aircraft for seven years have performed approximately 10,000 safety tests. Xpeng has stated they have 15 proprietary intellectual property rights for the Kiwigogo aircraft.
The company says the aircraft can resist strong crosswinds due to its eight independently computer controlled propellers and advanced flight controls, ensuring stability of the aircraft in all wind conditions. Safety features include redundancy with the multiple propellers, engines and computer systems. If one of the electric motors fail, the computer will immediately keep the aircraft balanced to continue flying safely.
The aircraft has manual pilot control, automatic flight modes, gyroscopic stability system, GPS navigation, comfortable seating and landing skids. While some articles are saying this eVTOL aircraft is made for two passengers, we only see one seat in the aircraft.
The company plans to sell their aircraft to the end-user and companies for use in Urban Air Mobility (UAM) programs. They also predict that the aircraft will be utilized in rescue missions, such as mountain rescues.
- Aircraft type: eVTOL
- Piloting: Piloted or autonomous
- Capacity: 1 passenger
- Cockpit: Open
- Maximum speed of 72 km/h (45 mph)
- Range: 30 km (18.5 miles)
- Flight time: 30 minutes
- Cruise altitude: 16-82 feet (5-25 meters)
- Maximum altitude: 3,000 m (9,650 ft)
- Maximum take-off weight: 800 kg (1,734 lbs)
- Propellers: 8 propellers
- Electric engines: 8 electric motors
- Electric motor output: 80 kW, each
- Windows: Front windshield, sides are open
- Landing gear: Skid type landing gear
- Safety features: Has multiple redundancy features, advanced flight control to keep the aircraft stable in windy or gusty conditions to ensure safe flight. 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.
- Xpeng Heitech website unknown
- Kiwigogo Facebook
- Kiwigogo YouTube Channel
- Kiwigogo Instagram
- Award: Kiwigogo A-One wins 2019 reddot award, reddot, 2019
- Photo gallery: Kiwigogo Aircraft A-one, manned drone, Dongguan City, Rex Features, Oct. 16, 2019
- Article: Chinese helicopter can participate in traffic in the future, Teller Report, Nov. 27, 2019
- Video: The future has come!, Wang Tan, Mar. 5, 2020
- Video: Kiwigogo T-One Rotor Test, Wang Tan, Mar. 5, 2020
- Video: Kiwigogo T-One personal aircraft in the future, Wang Tan, Mar. 6, 2020
- Video: Kiwigogo T-One, Wang Tan, Mar. 8, 2020
- Article: HeiTech eVTOLs Discovered, eVTOL News, Aug. 28, 2020
- Article: Chinese electric car start-up Xpeng shows off new flying vehicle, CNBC, Sept. 26, 2020
- Article: Xpeng Unveils Flying Electric Vehicle Prototype At Beijing Motor Show, Inside EVs, Sept. 26, 2020
- Article: Xpeng’s Kiwigogo ‘Flying Car’ Prototype Looks Like A Human-Carrying Drone, Car Scoops, Sept. 29, 2020