Urban air mobility company EHang announced on Tuesday that it has successfully conducted several aerial sightseeing trial flights using its EHang 216 autonomous aerial vehicle (AAV). The trial flights took place in Yantai, China, as part of the company’s world flight tour campaign, which is aimed at demonstrating “the reliability and versatility of its passenger-grade AAVs through safe autonomous flights.” EHang’s AAVs have now completed demo flights in 21 cities and six countries including China, the U.S., Austria, Netherlands, Qatar and UAE.
“As the world’s first provider of passenger-grade AAVs, we are honored to prove this game-changing air mobility solution by demonstrating flights to regulators, customers, partners and the general public,” said EHang founder and CEO Hu Huazhi. “The positive supports and feedback have strengthened our determination in our quest to bring this new style of mobility to the people.”
The autonomous EHang 216 electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) has a range of 35 km (19 NM), maximum speed of 130 km/h (70 knots) and payload of 220 kg (485 pounds). According to EHang, its AAVs are suitable for commercial operations such as passenger transportation, aerial sightseeing, air logistics and medical emergency response. As previously reported by AVweb, the company completed its first series of public passenger flights in Vienna, Austria, in April 2019.
Why were there only 85 pound women in the demo?
Somebody told them using 10 year old kids would send the wrong message.
Because they’re prettier visuals than watching a man. And besides, good pr to use attractive women tends to skew doubts. No safety measures for all the possible what if moments in autonomous flights: computer glitch, battery failure, blade damage, motor failure, loss of GPS signal, etc. It will be interesting when the little details are revealed about in flight issues and how it’s handled.
Probably for the same reason you only see cute young women showing the cars at auto shows. One thing they obviously did not show is how long they had to wait between flights while they recharged the batteries.
Until higher capacity batteries have been developed any such operation will need several batteries for fast swaps while the other ones recharge.
I for one am very excited to see auf like that slowly but surely take off.
“auf” = stuff (damn auto-correct 🙂
I’m really pretty frustrated to see most of this type of development occurring in other countries (China, Germany, etc.) outside the United States. We pride ourselves as being the greatest engineering and technology country, but more and more, we are being eclipsed by innovation elsewhere.
It’s presumed these e-flyers are using current lithium batteries with high charging capabilities to minimize down time. My guess is if quick change batteries aren’t already incorporated then a definite down time is already calculated for charging between flights. Charging may not be as quick as Teslas fast charging so if initial startup is established, there may be several aircraft for use as well as spare parts since they’d have to be self supporting.
I’m more perplexed at seeing the 19th century Central European buildings they were flying around. After they finished, did they go celebrate at the local beer garden and eat knockwurst?