You read that right. An electric flying saucer took flight this week that you can actually “fly around” in. The UFO looks like something straight out of a sci-fi movie, but this one won’t transport you to another planet.
An electric flying saucer (UFO) you can ride in
After over three years of development from researchers at Beigang University and Northwestern Polytechnical University, the electric vertical take-off flying saucer took flight this week, a new first.
Riders took off in the electric aircraft at a promotional event held in the Chinese city of Shenzhen with a panoramic view of their surroundings.
Manufactured by Shenzen UFO Flying Saucer Technology, the electric flying saucer features six hole duct structures containing two propeller blades for a total of 12. The design maximizes stability and safety with equally distributed propulsion.
According to local news Shenzhen Pagesthe eVTOL can take off and touch down on land or water.
Riders can fly for up to 15 minutes and reach an altitude of 200 meters (656 feet) with a maximum flight speed of 50 km/h (31 mph), or you can use autopilot to take you where you want to go.
Currently, the electric UFO will mainly be used for sightseeing and promotions, and the company has obtained global patents for its tech.
Several videos of the event, such as the one above, give you a good idea of the electric flying saucer’s size and capabilities.
eVTOL technology has advanced significantly over the past several years with an influx of investments designed to cut emissions and clean up traffic in busy cities.
Several automakers and aviation companies are working to make the technology viable. XPeng’s X2 “flying car” became the first crewed eVTOL to receive a flight permit in China earlier this year.
Volkswagen unveiled its first electric passenger drone prototype last July, nicknamed the “Flying Tiger.” Meanwhile, Toyota extended its partnership with Joby Aviation to mass-produce passenger eVTOLs.
Archer Aviation is another name to watch for, with its first “Midnight” eVTOL rolling off the production line last month.
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