Ni hao, fly now: After dominating EV space, China sets sights on flying cars

  • A number of Chinese firms are looking at dictating the course which aim to turn flying cars into reality.
AirCar
File photo of AirCar flying car during the course of its maiden test flight in Slovakia.
AirCar
File photo of AirCar flying car during the course of its maiden test flight in Slovakia.

China is the world's largest vehicle market. China is the world's largest electric vehicle market. And it is likely that the country may take a lead in the fast-developing world of flying cars as well. A number of China-based companies are working on either developing models or procuring the technologies that would turn the ultimate dream in personal mobility sphere into reality.

In prime focus is Cangzhou-based company called Hebei Jianxin Flying Car Technology that recently bought exclusive rights to build AirCar, a flying car that successfully conducted its maiden test flight in 2020 and completed an inter city flight in 2021. Developed by Slovakia-based company called Klein Vision, AirCar will now serve as the basis on which Hebei Jianxin Flying Car Technology will develop its own versions of flying cars. These will be used for flights within pre-defined areas within the Chinese territory, according to the BBC.

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Also Read : How flying cars can take over global farms, covering one acre every minute

The AirCar from Klein Vision is capable of operation on both surface as well as in the air. Its dimensions are similar to a conventional vehicle and is powered by a BMW-sourced engine. But it takes all of 120 seconds to transform into a flying machine that can travel an air distance of 1,000 kms at an altitude of 8,200 feet. It is also entirely capable of making maneuvers during flight time although it will require a runway and is not capable of vertical lift-off and landing.

Chinese dreams of flying cars take flight

While Hebei Jianxin Flying Car Technology now has the exclusive rights to build AirCar aircraft inside an undisclosed area in China, noticeable moves have been made by rival companies here too.

A Chinese company called Autoflight tested a drone capable of flying passengers. The drone was flown between Shenzhen and Zhuhai and completed the distance in 20 minutes. It would have taken around three hours to cover the distance between the two Chinese cities by road.

Then there is another company called eHang which received a safety certificate from officials in the country for a flying taxi powered by batteries.

All of these developments show that China has the potential to pave the way for flying cars to take over skies, both in the country and the world over. Experts and industry watchers point out that flying cars are inevitable and the only two big questions that remain are how to make these mobility options more cost viable and the regulations and supporting infrastructure that would be required.

First Published Date: 05 Apr 2024, 15:16 PM IST
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