EHang Kicks Off Unmanned eVTOL Commercial Flight Demonstrations in Two Cities

The Eh216-S launched commercial flight demonstrations in two locations 8 photos
Photo: EHang
A new kind of aerial sightseeing is emerging – admiring the view from inside an unmanned, electric vertical takeoff and landing aircraft (eVTOL) instead of a conventional helicopter doesn't change the view itself, but it's an infinitely more exhilarating experience. China is already breaking the ice with the EH216-S.
Over the past few years, we've covered several eVTOl flight demonstration events that were open to the public. This time, it was much more than that. Government officials and even citizens were invited to hop onboard the EH216-S and experience an unmanned flight. It happened at the beginning of the year in two different locations, Guangzhou and Hefei. This is where EHang has launched the first commercial demonstration flights for the certified EH216-S.

One of the most spectacular locations for the unmanned aircraft's future endeavors is Luogang Central Park. The Hefei government officially designated this Park as an eVTOL operation site for its "Full-Space Unmanned System Integrated Application Demonstration" project. What makes this site special is, first of all, the sheer size (it's one of the largest urban parks in the world) and the spectacular landscapes. The Luogang Central Park is one of the busiest tourist attractions, which also translates to a greater need for innovative, efficient transportation.

All of these factors make Luogang Central Park one of the ideal locations for launching EHang's pilotless operations. The first EH216-S aircraft to enter commercial service will be geared toward aerial sightseeing and tourist air taxi flights. This is the beginning of something big. The local authorities in Hefei have already committed to purchasing 100 units of the EHang eVTOL, expecting high demand in the coming months and years.

It's also a pioneering moment for the industry on a global level. At the end of 2023, the Chinese passenger eVTOL for unmanned operations obtained the world's first standard airworthiness certificate. The first EHang commercial air taxis will bring to air mobility what robotaxis and unmanned shuttles have brought to ground-based transportation.

These commercial flight demonstrations in Guangzhou and Hefei are the culmination of several other milestones and global breakthroughs. The EH216-S became the first eVTOL of its kind to be officially selected by a police force in the EU (the Spanish National Police) and had previously established multiple records during an impressive tour of four cities in Japan.

This unmanned eVTOL is officially a short-range, two-seat UAV. It was designed to operate at a maximum altitude of 9,800 feet (3,000 meters), cruising at 80.7 mph (130 kph). On a single charge, the EH216-S promises a range of up to 22 miles (35 km), and its batteries require two hours to be fully recharged. It's not as impressive in terms of performance as mid-range eVTOLs, but it's at the top of the list when it comes to autonomous flight.
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About the author: Otilia Drăgan
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Otilia believes that if it’s eco, green, or groundbreaking, people should know about it (especially if it's got wheels or wings). Working in online media for over five years, she's gained a deeper perspective on how people everywhere can inspire each other.
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