eHang just got its operational permit for its eHang 216 in Norway and Spain. The Chinese aviation startup hopes to develop its presence in Europe and create future flight routes.
While the world comes to a halt with the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, eHang gets the go-ahead from the Civil Aviation Authority of Norway (CAA Norway) to fly its two-seater passenger-grade AAV (Autonomous Aviation Vehicle), the eHang 216. The AAV got its first European operational permit, staging the way for the continent’s future urban air mobility (UAM) operations.
The aviation startup recently got an OK from the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). The eHang 216 will conduct flights to test and certify the AAVs in the near future. According to CAA Norway, the country ’s geographic conditions are perfect for the testing of unmanned aircraft systems (UAS). The vast country is sparsely populated with unused airspace.
Norway is also very active with the future of our airspace. It actively promotes clean aviation in the near future. Avinor’s CEO Dag Falk-Petersen, responsible for 44 state-owned airports and air navigation services, wants all Norway domestic flights to be electric by 2040. EHang will test its 216 at the Elvenes airport.
The company will explore how its networked and intelligent AAV system can provide safe autonomous flights. It will use this project to gather real-time data with its command-and-control platform. It will also test point-to-point delivery, maintenance, and inspection of wind-power plant servicing. The Chinese aviation startup says its safety track record, as well as automation, vertical takeoff and landing, big payload, cluster management, efficiency, and low cost will play a significant role in Europe’s future.
Hu Huazhi, founder, chairman, and CEO of Ehang, said: “In the new wave of the development of the oil industry in Norway, EHang expects to empower the O&G industry with our AAV technologies to reduce costs and increase efficiencies, and promote the use of green energy. In the past two years, we have established strategic partnerships with valuable European partners such as Vodafone, FACC, and the ProSiebenSat.1 Group. We expect to work with more strategic partners and help them with our safe, autonomous, and eco-friendly air mobility solutions.”