Shows like M.A.S.K. and Back to the Future II set an unrealistic expectation for flying cars. I mean, when we talked about flying cars, most people would imagine a regular-looking car that, you know, just flies. Gullwing doors are a bonus, of course, but shouldn’t open like Matt Trakker’s Thunder Hawk in order to fly because it is dangerous.
However, not quite widely known is, there is another company that shares Klein Vision’s ideal of flying cars (or basically, most people’s idea of flying cars). The company is a Chinese electric vehicle maker, Xiaopeng (or Xpeng).
The company-backed urban air mobility (UAM) startup, HT Aero, has already developed a drone-like, quad-rotor electric personal air transport but it is not about to stop there.
Being an automaker, Xpeng envisioned a flying car that actually looked like a regular car. In October, HT Aero revealed that a build-for-regular-road flying car is in the pipeline.
Like Klein Vision’s, HT Aero’s yet-to-be-named flying car looks very much like a regular car but HT Aero’s proposition is a VTOL. This means it needs no runway to take to the skies. Which also means not heading to an airfield.
The concept flying car is very Bugatti-ish in aesthetic but with an unusually long rear where a pair of twin-blade rotors are folded down and stowed away. In its car mode, there is no telltale sign of it can fly (conceptually speaking, that is).
Anyways, yes, it is essentially a twin-rotor drone which makes us ponder the engineering challenges that come with it. I mean, there’s a reason why twin-rotor drones are not common. Just saying…
The planned flying car will also boast a safety system that will evaluate the weather conditions before flying (possibly preventing you from doing so if there is severe weather is brewing). We heard it will also feature auto-pilot as well as built-in parachute and redundant power systems. But to be honest, this concept of a flying car is still far from reality.
Images: HT Aero.