XPeng AeroHT, a subsidiary of Chinese automaker XPeng Motors, unveiled the “Land Aircraft Carrier,” a lunar module-like vehicle that actually consists of two vehicles: a ground module and a flight module to deploy from the flight module. Customers will be able to pre-order the car in the fourth quarter of this year, the company said.
Also at CES, AeroHT made the international debut of its electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) supercar concept, showcasing the aircraft outside of China for the first time. Production and delivery of the model is expected to begin after the launch of the ground-based aircraft carrier in October.
A land-based aircraft carrier is a two-part design with a vertical flight and low-altitude flight unit and a ground unit for integrated aircraft command and storage. In addition to personal use, the AeroHT vehicle is used for public services such as emergency rescue.
Although the final design is still in development, what the company describes as a “modular flying car” already has a futuristic “electronic-mechanical” exterior. According to AeroHT, all major tests in the R&D validation phase of the vehicle have been completed and it is in the “production phase” for mass production.
The ground unit of the vehicle is designed to accommodate four to five passengers, driving on six wheels and three axles. This configuration allows for 6×6 all-wheel drive and rear-wheel steering, and can use the long-range electric powertrain to recharge the air unit on the road.
AeroHT showcased its latest eVTOL flying car concept to a global audience for the first time. Described as a supercar, the design was unveiled last October alongside a ground-based aircraft carrier. CES attendees were treated to a live demonstration of switching from ground to flight mode.
On the road, the vehicle actually looks like a regular car, except that its flying components, such as maneuvering arms and rotor systems, are folded up and stored inside the vehicle in ground position. These parts deploy in flight mode, allowing the supercar to take off and land vertically. The Intelligent Cockpit differentiates between two modes, adapting elements such as the steering wheel or the dashboard based on the user's preference.
In 2022, AeroHT tested a prototype of a flying supercar weighing around two tons. Mass production will follow as policies, regulations and use cases “become more mature,” the company said.