The Record-Breaking 'Prosperity I' Will Take Off From a French Vertiport Next Year

Prosperity I will carry out experimental flights at Pontoise Vertiport in France 7 photos
Photo: AutoFlight
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2025 is the year heralded by most air mobility companies as the moment when electric air taxi commercial services will finally launch. Luckily, it doesn't mean we'll have to wait that long to see these new-generation aircraft in action. Just one year from now, France is bringing a series of pioneering flight experiences as the host of the 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games.
In the summer of 2022, AutoFlight shared footage of its second full-scale proof-of-concept performing flight tests. Less than a year later, the Prosperity I prototype didn't just make its first public demonstration but managed to smash a vital world record in the emerging AAM (Advanced Air Mobility) industry.

AutoFlight's prototype covered 155 miles (250 km) in a little under one hour and 38 minutes during the demonstration. Before that, the Californian Joby Aviation had set the world record with a 151-mile (248 km) continuous flight. That happened back in 2021, so it was about time for a new attempt. AutoFlight set a new world record and raised the bar for all-electric VTOLs (vertical take-off and landing).

AutoFlight is officially a Chinese startup (that's where it's headquartered) but with a significant focus on European operations. At the beginning of last year, it broke the ice with a strategic partnership. The collaboration with Augsburg Airport in Germany was the first step towards building and testing Prosperity I in Europe and getting the green light from EASA (the European Aviation Safety Administration).

The recent world record is particularly important for AutoFlight, which hopes to stand out among Chinese manufacturers (such as EHang and Xpeng) precisely through unmatched performance.

In optimal conditions, Prosperity I promises a top speed of more than 124 mph (200 kph), similar to that of conventional helicopters, and a range that exceeds 155 miles, significantly more than other eVTOLs. This is possible thanks to a fixed-wing design combined with optimized lifting propellers.

The general public will get the chance to watch Prosperity I in action next year during the 2024 Olympics in Paris. Groupe ADP, an aviation operations expert, is AutoFlight's leading partner in this ambitious project. The Pontoise Vertiport claims to be the most advanced of its kind worldwide, offering dedicated take-off and landing areas, a fully-equipped maintenance hangar, and an advanced passenger terminal.

At the same time, Groupe ADP is planning to add five more vertiports that will connect the entire Paris Region. In the meantime, the Chinese electric aircraft will perform experimental flights, with a pilot onboard, at the Pontoise Vertiport. According to AutoFlight, this will be the first real-world environment demonstration for the record-breaking aircraft.

Prosperity I won't be the only eVTOL conducting demonstrations at the 2024 Olympics, but certainly one of the most exciting. All in all, this is gearing up to become a memorable event for electric air mobility.
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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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