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Xpeng’s X2 Flying Car Makes River Crossing in Hunan Province

The fifth generation of the XPeng AeroHT’s flying car concept, the two-seat Xpeng X2, completed its first demonstration flight over the Xiang River at Changsha in Hunan province on August 26. Starting its flight from the river’s left bank, the X2 flew just shy of a mile in four minutes before landing safely at Zhoutou Square.

According to the XPeng AeroHT (which is also known as Xiaopeng Huitian), the demonstration represents China’s first cross-river flight in an eVTOL vehicle. However, EHang has previously flown its EH216-S vehicle over the sea in coastal locations.

Weighing just under 1,500 pounds and constructed mainly from carbon fiber composite materials, the Xpeng X2 features eight propellers driven by eight electric motors in an octocopter configuration, meaning each of its four arms includes a pair of engines and props. With a maximum payload of just 352 pounds, the aircraft can stay airborne for up to 25 minutes, reaching altitudes of 3,280 feet and a flight speed of 80 miles per hour.

XPeng AeroHT said the X2 boasts a multiple redundancy design with four sets of independent batteries and a multi-motor power backup. Fixed-skid type landing gear, a built-in parachute, autopilot, a two-way 4G/5G communication system, radar ranging, and sensing obstacle avoidance are among its many features.

Speaking at the demonstration, company founder and president Zhao Deli said the aircraft has carried out nearly 4,000 test flights in various environments; its five demonstrators have undertaken a combined 15,000 flight tests. The company hopes to achieve mass production of its land and amphibious models in the next two to three years.

In September 2020, Hunan became the first Chinese province to overhaul low-altitude airspace management under a pilot project scheme to advance urban mobility. XPeng AeroHT is now partnering with district officials on a series of studies with the aim of building a…

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