It is a Hen, It is a Aircraft, It is A Volkswagen? Automaker Unveils “Passenger Drone” Prototype In China
Automakers are increasingly looking to the sky and the newest is Volkswagen, which has unveiled their V.MO “passenger drone” prototype.
Launched by Volkswagen Group China, the V.MO is an electrical Vertical Take-Off and Touchdown (eVTOL) plane that’s nicknamed the “Flying Tiger.”
Half helicopter and half drone, the V.MO options an “X-wing configuration” in addition to eight rotors for carry and two extra rotors for propulsion. The mannequin measures 36.7 toes (11.2 meters) lengthy and has a wing span of 34.8 toes (10.6 meters).
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Whereas the V.MO is presently a prototype, Volkswagen mentioned the mannequin might transport 4 passengers and their baggage as much as 124 miles (200 km) in its last kind. The corporate additionally added the plane is “based mostly on present options for autonomous driving and battery applied sciences for emission-free mobility.”
Volkswagen Group China was coy on specifics, however their Vertical Mobility venture was launched in 2020 and the prototype will bear a collection of “technical optimization” check flights later this yr. Learnings from this expertise will probably be included right into a extra superior prototype, which is slated to take to the skies in the summertime of 2023.
Flying passenger drones are outdoors of the corporate’s conventional wheelhouse, however Volkswagen famous “city air mobility guarantees to change into an essential market phase.” Because the automaker defined, eVTOL aircraft are anticipated to change into common for brief and medium distance transport, particularly in and between large cities. That is very true in China, the place congestion clogs roads and a VIP V.MO shuttle might transport passengers “quicker, extra effectively and extra flexibly than the presently obtainable terrestrial technique of transport.”
There’s no phrase on when the V.MO will probably be launched, however Volkswagen mentioned the plane is predicted to be supplied as a “premium product for rich tech-savvy clients in China.” Volkswagen Group China CEO Dr Stephan Wöllenstein added, “We wish to deliver this idea to collection manufacturing in the long run and, like a ‘Flying Tiger’, assume a pioneering function on this new and dynamic mobility market.”