Researchers from a Chinese university recently completed a test flight of an eVTOL flying car in eastern China’s Zhejiang Province, local media reported.
Tidenews, a Zhejiang-based news portal, reported on September 25 that a group of researchers at Hangzhou City University, a college in the provincial capital, put their self-built eVTOL prototype to test at an aviation base in Jiaxing, a city also in Zhejiang.
Hangzhou City University became the second domestic college to enter the budding eVTOL race, after Beijing Institute of Technology, which debuted its eVTOL aerial vehicle in October last year.
The prototype is a first-generation model that came out after a year’s research efforts by the research team.
With a load capacity of 110 kg, the aircraft is designed to last more than 30 km when fully loaded on a single journey. Its maximum cruising speed is 50 kph.
Designers said it combines the merits of tiltrotor and multi-copter structures, capable of moving fast and stably.
Led by Bai Jie, a foreign member with the Russian Academy of Sciences, the university researchers decided upon a tiltrotor structure for the eVTOL device.
It possesses a series of technologies essential to eVTOL, including a motor-driven powertrain, flight stability, 4D millimeter-wave radar and high levels of power system redundancy.
The eVTOL contraption developed by the Zhejiang university is said to be applicable in scenarios such as firefighting, logistics, medical first aid and passenger-carrying mobility services.
China’s eVTOL space is getting increasing attention from media and investors. Often known simply as flying car or air taxi, eVTOL is considered as an alternative to the existing urban mobility system.
What’s more, eVTOL advocates hail it as a solution to congestion, talking about it in the same breath as Uber or other ride-hailing service.