Chinese-made flying car takes off for the first time in UAE

Chinese-made flying car takes off for the first time in UAE
The two-seater vehicle made its first 90-minute flight in Dubai on Monday during Gitex 2022.
2 min read
13 October, 2022
Visitors stand next a concept flying car at the GITEX 2020 technology summit at the Dubai World Trade center on 8 December 2020. [Getty]

A Chinese-made unmanned flying car took off for its first-ever flight test in Dubai on Monday during the city's annual tech show Gitex 2022. 

Electric vehicle manufacturer XPeng Aeroht, an affiliate of Xpeng Inc., created the eVTOL flying car X2 that soared over a Dubai crowd for a 90-minute flight at Skydive Dubai. 

The X2 displayed its vertical take-off and landing abilities powered by its eight propellers - without the need for a human driver. 

The two-seater vehicle emits no carbon dioxide and has a maximum flight speed of 130 km/h. It's also equipped with a flight control system, both manual autonomous flight mode, and an enclosed cockpit, all encased in a carbon fibre structure.

The X2 was designed to carry out low-altitude, short-haul city trips, including sightseeing and medical transportation. 

XPeng Aeroht described the X2 as an "important base for the next generation of flying cars." 

Immersive flight experience. Take a ride with X2 flying car in Dubai. #XPNEGAEROHT #GITEXGLOBAL #FlyingCar #Tech #Dubai

— XPENG AEROHT (@XPENG_AEROHT) October 12, 2022

"First we selected Dubai city because Dubai is the most innovative city in the world," Minguan Qiu, general manager of Xpeng Aeroht, said to the media. 

Xpeng Aeroht is currently working on launching the X2 on international markets according to Qiu. The X2 is the fifth and latest generation of flying cars developed independently by the Chinese company. 

XPeng President Brian Gu said the Dubai flight test was a "major step" in the company's experimentation in the future of mobility.

With major developments in technology, flying vehicles are no longer becoming a thing of movies and comic books. According to a report by Morgan Stanley Research, accelerating technological advances and investment in autonomous aircraft could create a US$1.5 trillion market by 2040.

German startup Volocopter plans to launch electric air taxis in Singapore in 2024.