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Chongqing Launched the World's First Manned Smart Split-type Flying Car

By DAI YUAN|Nov 29,2022

Chongqing- Chongqing launched the world’s first manned two-seat smart split-type flying car engineering prototype on November 17, with a joint effort by the Beijing Institute of Technology (BIT) and its Chongqing Innovation Center, Cool High Technology.

As a new type of vehicle for urban transportation and future travel, the flying car is a way to solve traffic congestion, urgent rescue, and pollution.

The flying car can function both as a road vehicle and an aircraft. More countries like the US, Japan, and EU members pay great attention to it and provide support investing in its research and development. China shares the same plan as well.

Flying car in the air. (Photo provided to iChongqing)

A flying car in the air. (Photo provided to iChongqing)

Xiang Changle, the Chinese Academy of Engineering academic and his team lead the scientific research of the flying car. Based on the man-machine interaction system, the smart sensor of the flying car can pilot the cockpit respectively to connect the chassis, and the aircraft using location awareness, track planning, and drive control, thus realizing the mode switching between road driving and flying in the air.

“Our team will apply ourselves to the field of delivery systems,” said Xiang. “We aim to promote technical innovation, achievement transformation, and industrial development.”

The flying car will play a vital role in the military and civilian fields, such as delivering emergent relief supplies, urgent rescue, firefighting, etc. It will also be applied in intelligent parks, ports, and scenic areas, realizing the unmanned logistics distribution, sightseeing, and flight experience.

The newly-developed flying car is structured with three independent split-type modules: an autonomous vertical takeoff and landing flight vehicle, a smart cockpit, and an autonomous chassis. Serving as the core systems of the flying car, they feature “low weight, high loading.”

With a maximum takeoff weight reaching 659kg and a net weight of loads reaching 280 kilograms, the smart cockpit of the flying car carries two people.

The autonomous chassis can achieve motion control like driving, steering, and autonomous driving through a general controller. The maximum loading is over 500kg, while the speed can be up to 80km/h. The split-type design of the three modules proves a flexible transformation from the ground to air back and forth.

On top of the coordination with the transportation management system, airworthiness standards, and low-altitude airspace management, an intelligent networking ground transportation system is indispensable for the flying car put into application. Chongqing will take full advantage of its car networking area and civil aviation pilot site.

For logistics, urgent rescue, sightseeing, and other usages, the flying car, under the support of transportation data, will be applied and promoted to the related domains in pursuit of better urban transportation in the near future. 

According to Ming Ju, director of Chongqing Science and Technology Bureau, while flying cars drive the innovation for Chongqing’s special traffic situation, it also facilitates the improvement of Chongqing’s manufacturing industry.

The chassis is to connect with the aircraft. (Photo provided to iChongqing)

The flying car’s chassis is to connect with the aircraft. (Photo provided to iChongqing)


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