Shenzen UFO Flying Saucer Technology flies into the eVTOL race

Its UFO-style design helped the team to maximize stability and safety.
Jijo Malayil
The UFO-styled eVTOL in flight
The UFO-styled eVTOL in flight


A push towards achieving sustainability and net-zero targets has resulted in a rapid expansion of clean energy initiatives, especially in the sector of aviation. At the forefront of this revolution stands a remarkable innovation that promises to redefine the way we traverse our skies – the Electric Vertical Takeoff and Landing aircraft, commonly known as eVTOL.

Undoubtedly, the West has taken the lead with multiple ventures vying to get their products into production. However, it's an eVTOL initiative from China that is now demanding our attention due to its unique design, that of a flying saucer.

The project is a culmination of three years of work by researchers at Northwestern Polytechnical University, with the eVTOL, which resembles a flying saucer completing its first test flight at an exhibition event in Shenzhen. 

An innovative design that offers stability and safety 

The UFO-like design is manufactured by a firm called Shenzen UFO Flying Saucer Technology, with the eVTOL featuring six holes around the pilot's cabin to house its dual propellers, taking the total count to 12. The use of such a design helps the team maximize stability and safety with an equal distribution of engine thrust. 

The eVTOL can fly uninterrupted for 15 minutes and reach an altitude of 656 feet (200 meters) with a maximum flight speed of 31 mph (50 km/h). The vehicle also features autonomous flying capabilities that can help users enjoy the ride as the system takes care of the tedious flying-related tasks. 

According to Shenzen Times, the aircraft also possess the ability to take off and touch down on land or water bodies. The firm is intending to use the eVTOL for tourism and promotional purposes for the time being.

Intense competition in the field

The eVTOL sector is seeing intense activity from China, with Guangzhou-based XPeng X2 carrying and receiving a flying permit in early 2023. Globally, major firms are rushing to get on with the race, with international firms like Volkswagen unveiling its prototype and Toyota partnering with Joby Aviation to jointly manufacture its passenger eVTOLs.

Archer Aviation is also ready with its first eVTOL air taxi, which is now ready for in-house testing. Monaco-based Mc Clic has already launched its Mc One personal aircraft to prospective customers at $150,000, while Jetson One is offered at a slightly lower price tag of around $100,000.

In short, more players in the segment are sure to advance the technology for eVTOLs and offer a more cost-effective, sustainable, and viable solution for short-distance commutes.

Add Interesting Engineering to your Google News feed.
Add Interesting Engineering to your Google News feed.
message circleSHOW COMMENT (1)chevron
Job Board