Ehang back with new passenger drone

The last time we covered Ehang, the Chinese autonomous aerial vehicle (AAV) technology platform company was reeling from rapidly declining stocks at the market, following an unfavourable report from a hostile researcher.

But they seem to have got over the worst of it now, and their stock event went up fifteen percent yesterday when they announced their arrival of a new passenger drone, which they say is ideal for intercity travel.

Called the VT-30, the bird has a hybrid structure and has a flight range of up to 300km and a flight time of up to 100 minutes.

Ehang says the drone will be used in various scenarios such as air commuting, aerial sightseeing, and aerial logistics.

“The VT-30 is designed as a safe, convenient, efficient, eco-friendly and intelligent air mobility solutions for inter-city travel,” the company said in a statement. “As EHang’s long-range flagship product, VT-30 will complement EH216, a product focusing on intra-city air mobility, to further expand the air transportation network and improve the future urban air mobility (“UAM”) ecosystem.

“VT-30 has a streamlined fuselage with a combined lifting rudder surface at the tail. Equipped with eight propellers on both sides, it has a pair of fixed wings, and a propelling propeller at the rear, which are designed to achieve a maximum balance of hybrid lift and push.

“The distinctive design enables VT-30 to enjoy the advantage of both vertical and taxi take-off and landing modes, while satisfying the need for longer distance and flight time. Unlike conventional fixed-wing aircrafts, it saves the runway for take-off and landing. Moreover, the tri-redundancy fly-by-wire control system can be flexibly altered into multiple modes, implying a much higher safety level for the aircraft.”

Designed to carry two passengers, the drone has already been tested for vertical take-off and landing as well as the power system, according to the manufacturer, and Ehang also says further tests will be conducted with regards to the unmanned plane’s performance under different weather conditions; safety and stability; and long-distance travel.

“Our passenger-grade AAV EH216 is already fully equipped to travel in the cities with its lightweight and streamlined structure, and the launch of the VT-30 provides a powerful complement to the inter-city air traffic network by meeting needs for covering longer distance,” said Ehang founder, Huazhi Hu. “Moving forward, these two product series will be used as core development for a service-oriented operations strategy to improve the safety, durability and capacity for carrying both passengers and goods.

“We will work continuously to obtain regulatory certification for our various AAV products, including the VT-30, and provide a more convenient and efficient public urban air mobility operational service.”


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