BY SILVI WRITER
Inventing something is not exclusive for scientists, as 78-year-old retiree An Shuya recently proved.
From northwest China’s Shaanxi Province, An devoted himself for nearly 20 years to the invention of dual-use vehicles which can both run along the ground and fly in the sky.
He received a patent for the invention this August, local media hsw.cn reported last week. The patent was granted for the invention of “a solution for the aerodynamic configuration and power system of dual-use (land and air) sedan cars and service cars”.
An, a retired senior mechanical engineer, started the study in 2000 and has become a regular visitor of the municipal library since then, immersing himself in books on automobile industrial technologies and aeronautical technologies.
He had been enjoying a happy life after retirement until one day, his wife shared her concern with the present traffic congestion.
“My wife complained of frequent traffic jams on the road, and asked me to do something to deal with it,” said An.
He then decided to make a difference.
An made use of his expertise in mechanical manufacturing and attempted to create a “flying car” so as to help resolve the traffic jam issue.
“I have read quite a large number of reference books and I wanted to invent a new vehicle that combines cars and small aircraft,” he said.
When his study finally yielded fruits, as a gift to his wife, An applied for the patent with the name of his wife.
The invention is a combination of the automobile and aircraft, and this new type dual-use vehicle is at present a conceptual machine that needs further detailed development and manufacturing, An explained.
“I haven’t been able to materialize the vehicle, for it needs complicated and refined manufacturing techniques,” An said, hoping that people of vision could help him to materialize the invention.
Dream becoming true
An is among many Chinese who share the dream of flying over road congestion. He might be able to materialize the invention with help of the country’s automobile giants.
The stuff of science fiction is close to becoming reality.
Pre-sales of the world’s first flying car would begin in October, the manufacturer said in late September.
The first model, a hybrid vehicle developed by Terrafugia Inc, a subsidiary of China’s Geely Auto Group, will be delivered in 2019, according to Chris Jaran, CEO of US-based Terrafugia.
Last November, Geely acquired Terrafugia Inc., a Boston-based company that plans to start selling flying cars by 2019.
It was the most prominent Chinese investment yet in an industry that’s attracting the talent and capital of some of the world’s most prominent entrepreneurs and investors. And it marks an important advance for a technology that could reshape the 21st-century city.
Back in February, drone manufacturer Ehang released a video of the world’s first passenger drone, the Ehang 184.
The video showed the drone being put through its paces with and without a passenger. Many analysts watched the demonstration in amazement. The future was suddenly upon us.
The electric drone can carry one passenger, weighing up to 100 kg, and travels at speeds of up to 100 km per hour.
Headquartered in Guangzhou, the capital of South China’s Guangdong province, the company describes the Ehang 184 as the “world’s first all-electric, consumer-facing autonomous passenger drone”.