Autoflight reports 250 km flight with eVTOL prototype
Chinese air taxi startup Autoflight announces what it claims is the world’s longest eVTOL flight to date. Its electric flying cab, ‘Prosperity I’, allegedly covered a distance of 250 kilometres without stopping to charge. The flying taxi is scheduled for certification in 2025.
Autoflight is based in Shanghai but has an international focus. The company is also involved in the European holding company Team Global, opened its European headquarter in Augsburg in 2022 and aims to obtain EASA certification. Autoflight says it used the fourth generation of its flying taxi for the record-breaking flight. The flight at Autoflight’s eVTOL test site consisted of 20 laps on a predefined flight path, with the aircraft being remotely controlled from the ground.
“The record for the longest flight by an eVTOL aircraft to date was 248 km and was performed by Joby Aviation in 2021,” the manufacturer writes in an email to electrive.com. This flight is said to be both a milestone and a testament to the team’s efforts and progress in testing and progressively pushing the aircraft’s performance limits, comments Autoflight President Omer Bar-Yohay. “We look forward to continuing to work towards our next goals, all the way to EASA certification.”
Autoflight also shared EV’s design for the first time. However, most technical details are being kept under wraps. Images show it having rotors at the tail and on the wings. According to the developer, the top speed is 200 kph, and the maximum payload is 400 kg. The machine offers space for the pilot plus up to three passengers.
Autoflight initially focused on unmanned aviation and unmanned cargo drones. The ‘Prosperity I’ is the company’s first crewed aircraft.
In November 2021, the company received $100 million in funding from Team Global, a Berlin-based technology company. Autoflight said the money would be used to “further develop Autoflight’s cargo devices into man-carrying aircraft.” To that end, the company initiated a certification program to EASA standards.
In 2022, the company also began working from Europe, saying it wanted to complete EASA certification by 2025 and move forward with establishing additional sites for test and demonstration flights across the continent.
Source: Infos via email, autoflight.com, youtube.com (video)
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