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Volkswagen Group China V.MO Flying Tiger (Prototype 1)

Volkswagen Group China V.MO Flying Tiger (Prototype 1)

 

V.MO Flying Tiger (Prototype 1)
Volkswagen Group China
Beijing, China
www.volkswagengroupchina.com.cn

The Volkswagen Group China was founded in 1985 and is headquartered in Beijing, China. In 2020, Volkswagen Group China established a Vertical Mobility Project to develop sustainable electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) passenger aircraft to improve personal mobility for urban, rural and offshore areas. The company's development mission is "In China, for China".

On July 27, 2022, Volkswagen Group China unveiled its first eVTOL prototype aircraft named the V.MO Prototype 001. The aircraft is remotely piloted, holds no passengers, has 10 propellers, 10 electric motors, canard high wings, a fuselage and has fixed skid-type landing gear. There are eight dedicated VTOL propellers located on two booms which are parallel to the fuselage and are attached to the wings. Two pusher propellers are located in the rear of the aircraft and are dedicated for forward flight and reverse flight. All propellers can turn independently of each other providing excellent maneuvering in calm to gusty winds.

The production aircraft will carry four passengers with an estimated range of 200 km (124 miles) with a flight time of 60 minutes. The production aircraft is planned to be both manually piloted or flown autonomously. The company has stated in articles that the production aircraft will be using existing autonomous technology and batteries. The company has not revealed in 2022 whether the prototype will be remotely controlled or will be flown autonomously. No mention has been made if the production aircraft will be piloted, remotely or autonomously.

The paint scheme was chosen due to the aircraft being revealed to the public in 2022, the Chinese Lunar New Year of the Tiger. The colors of the exterior of the aircraft include black, gold and white.

This prototype is a quite large wing measuring 11.2 meters (36.7 feet) in length and is 10.6 meters (34.7 feet) wide. Multiple eVTOL inventors around the world have stated that while computer modeling provides good estimated flight data, the only way to know how the aircraft actually performs in the real world, is the make a prototype and fly it. The impressive size of the prototype will help the company garner better flight statistics during flight testing.

The company plans to conduct flight test in the second half of 2022 to validate the aircraft's design and all its systems. In 2023, the company plans to perform more in-depth flight testing. The company plans to market their aircraft to high net-worth customers for urban air taxi services.

V.MO Flying Tiger Prototype 1 side view

V.MO Flying Tiger Prototype 1 side view

V.MO Flying Tiger Prototype 1 top view

V.MO Flying Tiger Prototype 1 top view

Specifications:

  • Aircraft type: eVTOL flying prototype passenger aircraft
  • Piloting: Remote or autonomous. The production aircraft will be fully autonomous.
  • Capacity: 0 passengers. The production aircraft will carry 4 passengers.
  • Cruise speed: Unknown
  • Range: Unknown. The production aircraft's estimated range is 200 km (124 miles).
  • Flight time: 60 minutes
  • Cruise altitude: Unknown
  • Propellers: 10 propellers (8 VTOL propellers, 2 pusher propellers)
  • Electric motors: 10 electric motors
  • Power source: Swappable battery packs
  • Fuselage: Carbon fiber composite
  • Length: 11.2 meters (36.7 feet)
  • Width: 10.6 meters (34.7 feet)
  • Windows: None
  • Wings: Canard high-wings
  • Landing gear: Fixed skid-type landing gear
  • Safety features: Distributed Electric Propulsion (DEP), provides safety through redundancy for its passengers and/or cargo. DEP means having multiple propellers (or ducted fans) and motors on the aircraft so if one or more propellers (ducted fans) or motors fail, the other working propellers (or ducted fans) and motors can safely land the aircraft. There are also redundancies in the sub-systems of the aircraft.

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