With the increasing development of eVTOL (electric vertical take-off and landing) “air taxis”, it’s no surprise that car manufacturers are also getting into the field. This week, Volkswagen Group China unveiled its own development, the V.MO.
The aircraft’s name stands for Vertical Mobility, but the vehicle is also known as the Flying Tiger because it was introduced in the year of the tiger, and its black-and-gold paintwork pays homage to the black-and-orange coloring of the big cat. The existing operational prototype is 11.2 m long and 10.6 m wide (36.7 by 34.8 ft) and is equipped with eight horizontal rotors for vertical lift and two rear vertical thrusters for forward flight. The prototype was created in collaboration with VW China, the British design company Tangerine and the Chinese aircraft manufacturer Sunward. According to Tangerine, the aircraft’s style, format and layout were “heavily influenced by intensive user research involving more than a hundred high-net-worth Chinese individuals”. V.MO targets the same segment of consumers, whose members can use eVTOL to fly between different cities in China. The current model is scheduled to conduct several test flights later this year, followed by test flights with an improved prototype at the end of next summer (in the Northern Hemisphere). According to Volkswagen China, the final commercial model will be fully autonomous and will be able to carry four passengers plus luggage for distances of up to 200 km.
Orca Aerospace develops electric, take-off, so-called eVTOL (electric, vertical take-off & landing) aircraft specifically for rescue and possibly military purposes. Zöld Pálya talked to one of the founders of the Pécs-based company, Soma Varga, about technology and the future of air transport. “With this pilot project, we are taking Volkswagen’s traditions of precision engineering, design and innovation to a new level by developing a premium product that serves the vertical mobility needs of our Chinese customers who are interested in future technology,” said Dr. Stephan Wöllenstein, CEO of Volkswagen Group China. The specialist added that the introduction of this impressive validation model, the V.MO, is the first of many notable milestones for VW on its exciting journey towards urban aviation.Hardware, software, tests, interesting and colorful news from the world of IT by clicking here!