The race to build the first flying car is on, and it’s a pretty mad scramble. It seems that a company from China may have gotten there quicker than the others with the Xpeng X2. While its viability comes down to available technology, patents, rights, and the fact that it really is a car-and-plane-in-one remain to be the main hurdles, this one has already taken its maiden flight.
XPeng X2 took to the skies in Dubai
Flying cars have long been thought of to be a long way off, but the Xpeng X2 may usher in its revolution. After completion of its risk assessment and being given a flying permit by the Dubai Civil Aviation Authority (DCAA), the X2 made flew its first flight over the skies of Dubai.
The public flight took place at Skydive Dubai, located adjacent to The Palm, offering excellent airspace conditions and panoramic views of the cityscape to provide the historic flight with a breathtaking backdrop.
More than 150 spectators were there to see the “flying car” do its thing, and it is quite a fantastic thing to see happen. It’s not a Delorean with thrusters, but it’s pretty close to any flying automobile anyone can get their hands on.
Of course the President of XPeng was their for the occasion, and he said of the X2 taking flight:
“XPENG X2’s public display in Dubai represents a significant milestone for XPENG AEROHT and the international achievement of flying cars. Dubai is a world-renowned ‘City of Innovation’, which is the reason we decided to hold the X2 first public flight event here. Today’s flight is a major step in XPENG’s exploration of future mobility.” – Brian Gu, Vice Chairman and President of XPENG
Acting President and CEO of the Dubai International Chamber of Commerce Hassan Al Hashemi was in attendance as well, and had this to say of the event:
“The first global public flight of the X2 flying car will change the game of future mobility. The flying car is the epitome of ambition, innovation and future-oriented vision that has always inspired Dubai and its leadership. Today, we witnessed a historic moment that will define the next 50 years.”
The Xpeng X2 is built as a 2-seater flying car. It features an enclosed cockpit with a minimalist teardrop-shaped design and a sci-fi appearance that takes high-efficient aerodynamics into account to achieve the ultimate in-flight performance. It runs purely on electricity and weight reduction is by way of a complete carbon fiber structure. XPeng said that it is suitable for low-altitude flight and can be used for short-distance trips and medical transport.
We’re still a long way off from real flying cars being put into mass production, but this seems like a very far and good step forward towards that direction. Back then, Back To The Future and even The Jetsons gave us a peek at what the future of mobility might be, and this time the XPeng X2 has already given us something to think about.
Now we’re really curious about what other companies and vehicle manufacturers in Asia, the Americas, and Europe might come up with. What a time to be alive.