A tweet about the autonomous Xpeng Aero­HT X2 eVTOL was post­ed this week, show­ing a film of this air­craft fly­ing across the Xiang riv­er in Changsa, Huna Province. The eVTOL took off from the left bank of the riv­er and after fly­ing for four min­utes and cov­er­ing 1.5 km, land­ed at Zhoutou Square on the oth­er side.

In fact, the sto­ry was first picked up by carnewschina.com last week­end with sev­er­al videos of the event along­side. The web­site arti­cle offers good back­ground infor­ma­tion about the Xpeng X2.


Aero­HT was found­ed in 2013 by Zhao Deli with finan­cial sup­port from Xpeng CEO, He Xiaopeng. The company’s name was ini­tial­ly Heit­ech, but recent­ly was changed to Aero­HT. Its first-gen­er­a­tion fly­ing vehi­cle debuted back in 2016 and four years lat­er Heit­ech launched its fifth-gen. In 2021, Xpeng Heit­ech com­plet­ed a Series A Financ­ing Round attract­ing a whop­ping USD500 mil­lion. The X2 was ini­tial­ly named Voy­ager 2 but this was changed to reflect the Xpeng car man­u­fac­tur­er’s asso­ci­a­tion.

Aero­HT says this is China’s first fly­ing vehi­cle cross-riv­er flight and a sig­nif­i­cant mile­stone in the devel­op­ment of autonomous tech­nol­o­gy. Before this event the Xpeng X2 had under­gone near­ly 4,000 tri­als includ­ing fly­ing over var­i­ous loca­tions, such as urban CBDs, sea areas and deserts.

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Unlike deliv­ery drones, which usu­al­ly only have four motors, the X2 is an octo­copter, where each “arm” has a pair of engines and pro­pellers. This pro­vides extra thrust and adds some redun­dan­cy, where the craft can main­tain flight if one motor fails. If more fail, a built-in para­chute helps cush­ion the fall.

The air­frame dimen­sions are (L/W/H) 5172/5124/1362 mm, respec­tive­ly. When fold­ed, these dimen­sions are 4949/2113/2055 mm. The curb weight is 680 kg and it can car­ry a max­i­mum pay­load of 160 kg. The X2 is a two-seater, so it can car­ry two 80 kg pas­sen­gers. The body is con­struct­ed main­ly from car­bon mate­ri­als.

The craft’s fly­ing endurance is 25 min­utes. Accord­ing to the com­pa­ny, the com­mer­cial ver­sion will hit the mar­ket in 2025 and offer an extend­ed-range of options. An aver­age cost to pur­chase this vehi­cle will be around USD150,000.

In Jan­u­ary, Xpeng X2 received the con­di­tions flight per­mit from the CAAC, becom­ing the first such fly­ing vehi­cle in Chi­na to obtain one. There is one down­side though to this excit­ing sto­ry. As the videos prove, the air­craft is noisy. And what of its autonomous nature? How will this work giv­en the indus­try’s nascent nature? Being ahead of the curve can be a prob­lem.

For more infor­ma­tion 


(News Source: https://carnewschina.com/)

(Top image: Cred­it — Xpeng Aero­HT)