EHang’s autonomous eVTOL completes maiden demo flight in UAE

EHang’s autonomous electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) aircraft has completed its first passenger-carrying demonstration flight in the United Arab Emirates, as the Chinese company eyes the rollout of commercial operations in the region.

The company’s passenger-grade EH216-S made its maiden sortie in Abu Dhabi, carrying passengers that included Emirati royalty and civil aviation officials.

EHang also brought other variants of its eVTOL aircraft to the UAE, with the fire-fighting and aerial logistics variants performing similar demonstration flights.

The series of flights come as EHang expands in the UAE: in 2023 it joined the country’s industry cluster for smart and autonomous vehicles, and established a partnership with UAE firm Wings Logistics Hub.

In April this year, EHang entered into a strategic partnership with Abu Dhabi’s investment office for the development of eVTOL operations in the country.

“In close coordination with the partners and government entities in the UAE, EHang is actively engaged in the design and establishment of eVTOL vertiports,in swift preparation for launching commercial [urban air mobility] routes,” adds EHang.

The company’s CEO and founder Huazhi Hu says: : “After securing the approval for passenger-carrying demo flights and conducting the debut flight, we will actively foster collaboration and communication between the UAE’s General Civil Aviation Authority and the Civil Aviation Administration of China to expedite the progress towards commercial flights of our pilotless aircraft in the UAE, which will become a milestone in the advancement of Abu Dhabi and the global air mobility sector.”

The company secured Chinese type certification for its autonomous EH216-S, a milestone obtained in October 2023, becoming the first eVTOL developer in the world to gain regulatory validation for its aircraft. In December, the programme received its airworthiness certificate, allowing initial deliveries to commence.

Source: flightglobal

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