This is KITE designed by Hong Kong-based Ponti Design Studio. No, it is not an actual kite, kite. The name was inspired by a migratory bird called black kite that stops by Hong Kong during winter.
KITE is a concept passenger drone for inter-city transit, an answer to short range travel in post-pandemic era in the Great Bay Area region which comprises of nine cities in the industrial region in Southern China and two special-administrative regions of Hong Kong and Macau.
If you ask me, I think KITE could be the lovechild of a large-scale drone and a private jet. The latter is reflected on the interior where you will find a central aisle with a line of two seats – each equipped with a 4-point quick-release harness – on either side.
Just like in a passenger aircraft, the seats are reclining, and features buttons and retractable trays. The seats further boast asymmetric seat stands that offers under seat space for carry-ons. Access to the aircraft is through a single door at the rear while the glass side panels serve us exits during an emergency.
Powering KITE are four double-helix rotors. Though it is not immediately clear the electric motors type and power output. The flight ceiling, speed and range are not disclosed either.
Other design highlights include a rounded, compact composite fuselage that has less drag while offering maneuverability, LED headlights, retractable landing skids, and onboard screens for flight information.
Based on the concept renders, it looks like KITE is autonomous. In addition, it will need to land on specific locations with a platform for embarking and disembarking, as well as recharging the vehicle in between flights.
Already, I can imagine KITE zipping around the skies of Southern China in not-too-distance future. I mean, Ehang already made progressed in urban air mobility and therefore, it is not farfetched to think the same concept could scale up to accommodate more passengers.
All images courtesy of Ponti Design Studio.