Volkswagen Group China has released visuals of its first eVTOL, a private aircraft designed to serve Chinese customers travelling between Chinese megacity clusters for business and leisure. Named the Flying Tiger, the aircraft is being designed in collaboration with UK design consultancy Tangerine and engineered in collaboration with Sunward, a Chinese general aviation manufacturer.
The first fully working prototype is now undergoing flight testing, with further prototypes under development. Throughout the design process, Tangerine has been working closely with the Volkswagen design team and Sunward to make sure the fuselage design is aligned with the manufacturing processes and wind tunnel testing.
The style, format, and layout of the eVTOL were heavily influenced by intensive user research with over 100 high-net-worth individuals across China. The eVTOL has eight fixed upward propellers and two rear-forward propulsion propellers. The aerodynamic cabin is located under the wings, away from the propellers, and is equipped with an aerodynamic ‘skate’ that lifts the vehicle from the ground and supports passenger access to the cabin from the ground.
“It’s a privilege to be part of VW China’s first foray into vertical mobility,” stated Weiwei He, a director at Tangerine. “It’s truly exciting that this project pushes beyond flashy concept designs to focus on the near delivery of working prototypes that are being tested in the air. The exterior is just a taster of what’s to come and we look forward to showcasing the interior design and total customer experience in the near future.”