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XPeng AeroHT X3 (concept design)

XPeng AeroHT two passenger X3 VTOL and roadable concept design in flight

 

X3 (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.

It was reported in Car News China on June 3, 2022 that XPeng AeroHT has made an unnamed new flying car which we now know is called the X3 and is a prototype flying and roadable car. The information was revealed to the world due to XPeng AeroHT's Chinese patent applications. The hybrid-electric VTOL flying and road legal vehicle is a sixth generation flying car. On June 25, 2022, it was reported that the company was doing secret test runs on Chongqing roads (a municipality of southwest China).

X2 passenger eVTOL concept design flying car
XPeng AeroHT has created a two passenger eVTOL and roadable X3 concept design vehicle. The company has also created a two passenger eVTOL X3 full-scale technology demonstrator. The X3 concept design and the X3 technology demonstrator vehicles have many differences. The X3 concept design is quite futuristic looking and the technology demonstrator looks more like an automobile with a large open-framed multicopter assembly bolted on top of the roof.

The vehicle has eight propellers, four road tires and has a total of 12 electric motors for the entire vehicle. The vehicle holds two passengers based on pictures of their eVTOL prototype and roadable vehicle seen on the roads in China. The initial pictures of the prototype driving on the roads car show what looks like a roof cargo carrier which would hold the propellers or rotorblades. The latest graphics of the X3 reveal a very futuristic vehicle that simply looks at first glance, that there is a cargo carrier on the top of the roof.

X3 flying car front (left) and rear (right) view from June 2022 patent and notice no exhaust pipes in the rear of the vehicle

X3 flying car front (left) and rear (right) view from June 2022 patent and notice no exhaust pipes in the rear of the vehicle

No specifications have been released by the company as of August 2022. The vehicle has been made so it can drive down roads without the propeller assembly being in the way of other cars. The X3 can park in a standard parking space, driveway or garage. The power source for the vehicle has not been officially revealed but most contemporary flying cars have a hybrid-electric power source. However, looking at the concept design pictures and the flying prototype, you'll notice there are no exhaust pipes on any of these vehicles. In addition, the company's latest version of the their flying car called the eVTOL Flying Car has an all-electric power source.

In a video posted to YouTube on Oct. 24, 2022, XPeng AeroHT revealed that it conducted the maiden flight of an uncrewed demonstrator for its X3 flying car. In the video, XPeng AeroHT shows the eVTOL aircraft take off, hover and land. The X3 is an interim name for the latest iteration of XPeng’s flying car design. The prototype features a multicopter design arranged in a coaxial quad configuration assembly that is attached to the roof of the car body. In a separate Oct. 24, 2022 video, XPeng AeroHT revealed a design for the future of its flying car, showing how the arms would unfold outwards from the roof of the vehicle. An early concept unveiled last year had an animation of the arms extending from the rear windows and then unfolding.

In what appears to be a patent submission in January 2023 for a design for a flying car, XPeng included digital renderings of a multicopter configuration similar to those released in its October 2022 video. Like those previous renderings, the images included in the January 2023 patent submission show a car-like vehicle sporting roof-mounted, folding propellers arranged in a coaxial quad configuration. In the recent past, XPeng AeroHT reported it will launch its flying car in 2024 with a cost approximately ¥1,000,000.00 RMB ($150,000.00 USD).

X3 concept design drawing for June 2022 patent, front view

X3 concept design drawing for June 2022 patent, front view

X3 concept design drawing for January 2023 patent, side view

X3 concept design drawing for January 2023 patent, side view

X3 concept design drawing for January 2023 patent, front view

X3 concept design drawing for January 2023 patent, front view

X3 concept design rear top view

X3 concept design rear top view

X3 concept design front view with propellers extended

X3 concept design front view with propellers extended

X3 concept design front view with propellers retracted

X3 concept design front view with propellers retracted

 

Specifications:

  • Aircraft type: Hybrid-electric VTOL passenger multicopter aircraft and a road legal vehicle (a flying car)
  • Piloting: Unknown
  • Capacity: 2 passengers
  • Propellers: 8 propellers (A roof top case houses the retractable propellers)
  • Electric motors: 8 electric motors for the propellers, 4 electric motors for the wheels
  • Power source: Battery packs
  • Fuselage: Carbon fiber composite
  • Windows: Windows typical of an automobile
  • Landing gear: 4 roadable wheels
  • 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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