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XPeng AeroHT Modular Flying Car (concept design)

XPeng AeroHT Modular Flying Car concept design vehicle system with a off-road van and eVTOL multicopter

 

Modular Flying Car (concept design)
XPeng AeroHT
Guangzhou, Guangdong, China
www.aeroht.com

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 originally 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. (Image credit: 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), Deli started his own company in 2010 to sell drones. The company created five different drone models to manufacture and sell. Then around 2016, Deli 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, 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.

Modular Flying Car passenger eVTOL multicopter concept design with van system
The XPeng AeroHT Modular Flying Car is concept design that includes a combination of a two passenger eVTOL multicopter that is stored and travels in the rear of a modern looking van. The van uses a hybrid-electric power source which recharges the eVTOL multicopter aircraft. The van holds four to five passengers, has rear steering and is an off-road vehicle. The van has been made as a sport vehicle for camping and vacations. The company has stated the Modular Flying Car is their next mass production vehicle and dubbed the vehicle system a Land Aircraft Carrier. A video of the Modular Flying Car system is here on YouTube. The code name for the aircraft concept design module is X3-F.

The multicopter has six electric propellers for VTOL, maneuvering and forward flight. There are also two electric ducted fans used for forward or rearward flight. The aircraft uses eight electric motors and is powered by battery packs. The four front and back booms are located on the corners of the top of the fuselage and are positioned in a 45 degree angle to the top of the aircraft. Then in the middle of the aircraft are another two booms which fold out and are about 35 degrees forward from the side of the fuselage.

The aircraft is piloted or can be flown with an automatic pilot. There is a large front window and both doors are completely clear providing excellent views for the passengers. The aircraft folds automatically into a small rectangular shape so it fits nicely into the back of the van. The van can also hold luggage on top of the roof using a luggage rack. When camping or stopping for a meal or to relax, the side doors open on the van and a sun canopy can be installed, secured from the side of the van, and two poles at the other end of the canopy hold it in place. The front grill of the van folds down and is either used as a shelf or possibly to hold a grill.

To deploy the multicopter from the van, there are two rear doors and the rear portion of the roof open automatically. The multicopter is sitting on two rails which are pushes the multicopter out of the van. At the appropriate time, the rear to strut landing gear fold downward and lock into position. Then the remainder of the multicopter is pushed out of the van and the remaining two struts fold down and lock into position. The van squats down and the rails retract inside of the van and the rear doors and the roof closes. Then six booms automatically fold outward and the propellers fold out and lock in position to prepare for flight. The van is both a camping van and a ground deployment vehicle for the eVTOL multicopter. If the multicopter makes a one-way trip, the van can be driven to pick up the multicopter.

On March 21, 2024, it was reported that the company's Modular Flying Car type certificate application has been accepted by the Civil Aviation Administration of Central and Southern China (CAAC). It has been stated this type certificate acceptance represents the Chinese aviation authority's confidence of Xpeng Aero's capabilities and project feasibility. The ground vehicle will also need to be certified to Chinese automotive standards.

The Modular Flying Car will be sold for personal use but the company knows the vehicle system is also expected to be used by emergency services, companies, research scientists, government use and military use.

Modular Flying Car off-road van concept design

Modular Flying Car off-road van concept design

Modular Flying Car two passenger eVTOL multicopter concept design

Modular Flying Car two passenger eVTOL multicopter concept design

Specifications:

  • Aircraft type: Passenger eVTOL multicopter concept that fits inside a custom made hybrid-electric van
  • Piloting (multicopter): 1 pilot flying manually or using automatic piloting
  • Capacity (multicopter): 2 passengers including the pilot
  • Van (off-road) capacity: 4-5 passengers (including the driver)
  • Cruise speed (multicopter): Unknown
  • Propellers (multicopter): 6 electric VTOL propellers and 2 ducted fans for forward and backwards flight
  • Electric motors (multicopter): 8 electric motors
  • Power source (multicopter): Battery packs (charged using the hybrid-electric power source from the van)
  • Power source (van): Hybrid-electric power source
  • Fuselage (multicopter): Carbon fiber composite
  • Windows (multicopter): Panoramic wrap around windows allowing forward, left and right visibility for spectacular views with a solid roof above the passenger compartment
  • Landing gear (multicopter): 4 retractable strut landing gear
  • Wheels (van): 3-axle 6 wheeled all-wheel drive vehicle with rear wheel steering
  • 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 of critical components in the sub-systems of the aircraft.

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