Flying cars, a term that can be described as quirky, weird and ambitious. That may be true many years back, but the term itself isn’t all-new as the first iteration of the flying car came about in 1934 when Waldo Waterman patented the Arrowbile, the first-ever flying car in history. Now, there are other players in the market who are looking to make the ubiquitous term a mainstream reality. For example, a Malaysian company is also working on a flying car prototype which should go into production very soon. In this article, we’ll be talking about flying cars and how it’s going to change the automotive World.
The car itself
In case you’re wondering, the “car” or drone in question is a China-made E-Hang 216. Yes, it is in fact, a drone and not a car. However, it is bound to be locally known as the Super Dron and is a joint venture of local folks EastCap Berhad and two Chinese companies, EHang Intelligent Equipment (Guangzhou) and Strong Rich Holdings.
Basically, the Super Dron is a two-seater tub flanked eight arms with two electric motors on either end of the craft. The arms, however, have two rotors resulting in a total of 16 rotors to propel the entire craft. In terms of performance figures, the Super Dron is capable of doing cruising speeds of 130km/h with a total cruising range of 35km. So, it is not meant to do hypermiling with but bear in mind that this is just a prototype. The next iteration of the flying car should be miles better.
Why does it exist?
EastCap Berhad announced that the introduction of the Super Dron isn’t aimed to be a means of public transportation, but more to border monitoring by relevant authorities and emergency service applications. EastCap also added that it has plans for the manufacturing plant in Malaysia that is capable of building up to 10,000 units of the Super Drons a year. So, the flying car isn’t exactly here. Neither is it meant for public use. Yet. However, this is a step in the right direction for the mobility sector.
How does it fare for the Malaysian mobility sector?
In all seriousness, it is too early to make a point on that matter. But on the bright side, this is definitely a game-changer once it becomes a reality, and when it is publicly available for use. Who knows? The Super Dron could very well be the brainchild of all flying drones in the future.
Let me elaborate on the point. The change of regular internal combustion-engined (ICE) vehicles is definitely coming soon. When the time comes, where do we see ourselves? There are three different alternatives to the ICE vehicles, pure electric vehicles, autonomous driving and even airborne mobility which can be translated loosely to flying cars or drones.
Once that happens, we as consumers can definitely see a change in the transportation modes. Heck, we could even own one a flying vehicle of our own. Helicopters and private jets aside, flying cars or drones could take over as the mainstream approach for mobility.
So, the first flying demonstration is set to take place very soon. If you are in agreement with the idea of manned drones as the next big thing in the Malaysian mobility sector, then you’ll have to wait for the introduction of the project to become a reality.