Volkswagen Group China today introduced the first electric Vertical Takeoff and Landing (eVTOL) passenger aircraft prototype as part of its strategy to revolutionize and explore fully electric and sustainable individual mobility concepts. In 2020, Volkswagen Group China launched a Vertical Mobility project to explore next-generation mobility solutions, including the urban air mobility market and the expansion of urban traffic into the airspace.
After intensive research, conceptual work and development, the project team has now developed the first validation model , V.MO. This first prototype was also nicknamed the “Flying Tiger” because of its distinctive black and gold colourway, painted to commemorate its launch in the Year of the Tiger.
Tests Will Continue Until the End of Summer 2023
The prototype concept builds on existing autonomous driving solutions and battery technology for emission-free mobility. With a length of 11.2 m and a span of 10.6 m, the luxury x-wing configuration model has eight rotors for vertical lift and two propellers for horizontal flight. The company will conduct several flight tests later this year to optimize the concept, and an improved prototype will undergo further test flights by late summer 2023 .
Volkswagen Group China CEO Dr. Stephan Wöllenstein said:
“Through this pilot project, we are taking Volkswagen’s long tradition of precision engineering, design and innovation to the next level by developing a world-class product that will serve vertical mobility needs.”
Urban air mobility is a rapidly developing market that aims to use airspace for short and medium distance connections, particularly over and between major cities. In China, it is poised to play an important role in the future of urban and intercity transport in its bustling megacities . In its initial phase of commercial use, V.MO is likely to be offered as a premium product for high-value tech-savvy Chinese customers, for example VIP air transport services .
eVTOL aircraft will be able to transport passengers more quickly and efficiently and with greater flexibility than existing conventional ground transport vehicles. As the Vertical Mobility project develops, Volkswagen Group China will work with relevant Chinese authorities to obtain certification.