First eVTOL receives type certification... and it's pilotless

EHang boss, Huazhi Hu, flies in the 216 air taxi
eVTOLs, such as the eHang 216 air taxi, will also need a charging infrastructure

Has the much-vaunted takeover of the world’s local taxi services by electric Vertical Take-Off and Landing aircraft begun? Chinese company EHang has just received type certification for its pilotless two-passenger carrying EH216-S eVTOL.

The certificate was issued by the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC).

“This demonstrates that the EH216-S’s model design fully complies with CAAC’s safety standards and airworthiness requirements, and that the EH216-S is qualified for conducting passenger-carrying UAV commercial operations,” said a statement from EHang.

“[It] also serves as an epoch-making milestone for commercial UAM operations.”

The statement continues to say that CAAC and EHang “upheld conventional century-old aviation principles alongside an innovation-centric approach, which involved formulating specific certification basis and means of compliance tailored to the EH216-S’s distinctive technical features, to conduct the type certification work”.

Tests at multiple locations in China included main material performance, structural strength, flame resistance, crashworthiness, gas toxicity, environmental conditions of equipment and systems, software simulation, data links, ground control stations, overall system functionality, electromagnetic compatibility, flight performance and flight stability characteristics.

Mr Huazhi Hu, founder, chairman and CEO of EHang, said, “Our self-developed EH216-S passenger-carrying UAV system has finally met high expectation to secure the first TC [type certificate] in the global eVTOL industry, marking a significant chapter in civil aviation history.”

EHang expects to start commercial ooperations in various cities soon.


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