Dubai witnessed a historic moment in what could be the future of travel and public transport — Xpeng, Chinese technology and electric vehicle manufacturer, on Monday made the first successful global public flight of its X2 flying car.
After taking off at Skydive Dubai, the X2 flying car completed its test flight, marking an exciting new era of short-haul flights and intelligent mobility solutions.
The autonomous two-seater flying car has 760kg of maximum take-off weight and 560kg empty weight with a maximum flight speed of 130km per hour. Made from premium carbon fibre material and equipped with an airframe parachute, it offers 35 minutes of flight.
The futuristic electric vertical takeoff and landing vehicle (eVTOL) is equipped with an intelligent flight control system and autonomous flight capabilities and is the latest generation of the flying car. The X2 emits zero carbon dioxide and is designed with low-altitude city capabilities.
The event was attended by Li Xu Hang, Consul General of China in UAE; Hassan Al Hashemi, Acting President and CEO of Dubai Chambers; Dr Brian Gu, Vice Chairman and President of XPeng; and Mohammad Al Kamali, Deputy CEO, Dubai Industries and Exports.
Dubai International Chamber has been working closely with XPeng to explore wider international markets using Dubai as a gateway.
The test flight was conducted on the sidelines of the Gitex Global 2022, which is taking place at the Dubai World Trade Centre.
Earlier this year, senior UAE officials visited Xpeng facilities in Guangzhou, China, and invited the company to choose the UAE to expand its market.
“This flying car is a luxury item and a lot of high net-worth individuals are looking for technology and such luxurious product. Dubai is the place where we have customers,” said Omar Abdulaziz AlKhan, executive director for international offices at the Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
Commenting on when the flying cars will be available for commercial use, he said: “It depends on how fast we can adopt the framework of urban commercialised flying. There will be more tests happening in Dubai and then it will be commercialised,” he said adding that in his personal opinion, it can be commercially deployed in the next two to three years in Dubai.
“Dubai Civil Aviation Authority is working with the company and shares its feedback regularly with Xpeng, which is taking feedback very actively,” he added.
“Dubai has become a magnet and testbed for companies from around the world that bring cutting-edge technologies to the market that support the emirate’s innovation strategy. The decision to debut the X2 flying car in Dubai is a testament to Dubai's position as a global innovation leader and hub for future technology,” said Hassan Al Hashemi.
“The next generation flying car will be intelligent, electric, vertical take-off and landing, air-land coupling. The product has begun to develop in 2020 and is scheduled to be mass-produced and delivered in 2024. We hope that our flying car will be a perfect match for Dubai, to jointly explore and build the future of 3D transportation, so that everyone can fly freely in the sky,” said Dr Gu.
Al Kamali said the government is committed to supporting firms that choose Dubai as their hub. “Opportunities are limitless here and we work with different communities and agencies to make things work here,” he said.
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At 9pm on Friday, passengers still await an alternative flight, which was reportedly scheduled for 9 pm and has been delayed to 1.50am on Saturday
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