What is the World’s Smallest Electric Flying Car?
The Philippines’ first electric flying car – Koncepto Millenya; also known as EMAV ( Electric Manned Aerial Vehicle ), is the smallest flying car in the world. It is powered by batteries which need two-and-a-half hours of charging time, and is capable of 15-minute flights. It has multiple power sources which makes it safe even after 4 motor failures. The EMAV can fly as high as 20 feet and speed up to 60 kilometers per hour.
It was introduced into the country by Kyxz Mendiola, a founding member of Philippine All-Stars. He was inspired by drones and wanted to make one that was big enough to carry him. The inventor said, his first designs were hoverboard style designs that he stood on and he steered with a remote control. The design evolved and it took him and his team six years before they were able to make the vehicle fly.
The vehicle is a single-seater vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) aircraft. Koncepto Millenya is reinforced by a metal frame covered with carbon fiber shell. As of September 2018, the aircraft can carry a payload of 80 to 100 kilograms (180 to 220 lb) and can fly at 50 to 60 kilometers per hour (31 to 37 mph). It has flown at a height of 6.1 to 7.6 meters (20 to 25 ft) and has flown 10 to 15 minutes at a time. It is powered by six lithium-ion batteries, taking around two and a half hours to charge completely.
The vehicle is controllable by its lone passenger through a portable radio frequency controller; the vehicle controls its altitude through a button while it can maneuver through a steering stick. Devising “multicopter” technology frequently used in drones, Koncepto Millenya achieves flight through its 16 rotary motors which is designed in a way that the vehicle can still fly safely even if one or two motors are compromised.
Crew: One pilot
Max speed: 60 km/h (37 mph, 32 kn)
Mendiola admits he is not really an engineer but just an enthusiast tinkering with electronics. He said the idea for the flying vehicle came to him 8 years ago because of his interest in remote-controlled planes and helicopters.
Koncepto Millenya is my vision for a 1-seater flying car, it uses the multi-copter technology. And when I started this project about 6 years ago, I thought I would be the first because when I was doing it before, there was no one else building it. I saw big potential in this technology, in safety, and basically its simplicity – the way it flies is very stable, and it’s easy to fly and learn. And that’s why I really proceeded in really pushing for this project.
Being able to fly on something that you created from scratch – it’s a long journey and process. It took me years and years of research and developments, trials and errors, failures and success – I thought.
And finally, I cracked the formula on how to make it more stable and reliable, but still affordable! Being able to do that, it’s just an amazing feeling to accomplish.
I think this will be an alternative option for us in the very near future. We will need to evolve, our transportation needs to evolve.
Kyxz Mendiola said in an interview
He successfully built a working prototype in 2017 and Star8 partnered with him to introduce their innovative green technologies, fund the project, and allow him to further improve his concepts. Today, they have developed the 1-seater model, with 2-seater and 4-seater ones coming out soon. When launched, the EMAV conceptualized by Mendiola will be dubbed Future 8. Koncepto Millenya is now open for buyers and investors for the commercial distribution of EMAV.
The Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP), meanwhile, said that at present, it doesn’t have any regulations about manned aerial vehicles like the one demonstrated by Mendiola and being planned by Star8.
But CAAP said they will look at possible regulations that are being created in other countries where similar aircraft are being developed.