China will soon be launching its EH216 eVTOL aircraft “in the next few months. If this is true, it will beat its competitors as they will not be launching in a few months.
“EHang and the CAAC (Civil Aviation Administration of China) have reached a consensus,” remarked Founder, Chairman, and CEO Huazhi Hu, “on the guiding principle that operational trial flights can gradually be carried out, while advancing the certification progress.”
The company has run various trial flights. They claim to have completed almost 2,800 “operational trial flights” across seven “air mobility trial operations” providing aerial sightseeing and short-distance mobility services in Guangzhou, Hezhou, Shenzen, Zhaoqing, and Sanya.
Besides this, almost 20,000 autonomous trial flights have been undertaken by the EH216 in 11 different countries. “With abundant operational experience accumulated and safety records built,” reads the earnings report, “the Company expects to turn these operational trial flights into commercial ones after the approval of the EHang 216 Type Certificate is obtained.”
“On the certification of our EHang 216 AAV, we have attached paramount emphasis on this project and have been promoting our cooperation with CAAC,” said Chief Strategy Officer Edward Huaxiang Xu. “After multi rounds of discussion with CAAC expert team, our certification work has entered into the final stages of verification. So far the work progress appears to be satisfying, so we remain hopeful to obtain CAAC’s approval on EHang 216 type certification in the next few months.”
Talking about the competition, USA’s Joby Aviation will get the certification from FAA in 2023 while Germany’s Lilium will not be launching till 2024.
China’s eHang will be leading pilotless operations directly. This means that its eVTOLs will be integrated into helicopter services and local air traffic considerations. It will not only cut costs but generate more revenue.
China and the USA have been in a cold war in launching eVTOL but if the launch of China’s eHang occurs in the next few months, it will definitely beat the US.
Also, Hu stated about eHang’s VT30 aircraft that it’s “already capable of flying” and preparing for a flight demo “in due course.” The VT30 will reach 186 miles by virtue of its ability to transition to efficient winged flight. It is also expected to be faster than the EH216.
Soon, China will have flying taxis, and this will be five years ahead of other countries.