Chinese carmaker Geely Holding Group has said its subsidiary Aerofugia has successfully completed a test flight of its prototype flying car, moving the company closer to its goal of delivering electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) vehicles to market, according to the South China Morning Post (SCMP).
According the SCMP website: “The test flight of the AE200-series eVTOL vehicle, with a tilt-motor configuration, was made within two months of Aerofugia obtaining the country’s first licence for such a manned flying car. It seats one pilot and four passengers, and was designed for “safe and comfortable” intercity and interurban area travel, according to Aerofugia.
“Geely, which acquired Volvo Cars in 2010, a controlling stake in Lotus Cars in 2017 and a minority interest in Mercedes-Benz Group in 2018, showed its ambition to take to the skies when it agreed to buy US flying car start-up Terrafugia in June 2017.
“Aerofugia, which formed a joint venture with Volocopter in 2021, will continue test flights of the prototype to accumulate safety data before it applies for a formal licence to commercially release the eVTOL vehicle. The Aerofugia representative said that type of certification is likely to be obtained “within three to five years”.
“The Chinese government has been gradually relaxing its restrictions on low-altitude airspace – the airspace below 1,000 metres – for civilian use to promote the rapid development of its civil aviation industry. In March last year, the Ministry of Transport released a development plan that listed flying cars among the major tasks from 2021 to 2035.”
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