EHang, Guangzhou, China , has moved a step closer to introducing commercial operations of its flagship 216 eVTOL AAV in Europe, after the company was issued with a trial flight permit to conduct unmanned flights in Austria’s national airspace.
The permit, which was granted on December 9th, is also the first flight permit for EHang’s passenger-grade AAVs within the European Union. As well as representing another important regulatory breakthrough, the milestone also supports EHang’s continued growth on the continent.
As part of the process, a test flight occurred in November 2020 which was also the first in open EASA airspace. After a Specific Operational Risk Assessment (SORA) procedure, a 216 AAV took off in St. Martin im Innkreis, in the province of Upper Austria.
The permit was obtained together with EHang’s strategic partner FACC AG, with technical experts from both companies working with national regulators to meet the national and European requirements.
Under the supervision of the Civil Aviation Authority, the unmanned aircraft took off for several minutes via automatic flight programming and then safely landed, despite the cold weather conditions and high wind speeds.
This latest news follows on from EHang’s announcement earlier this year that it had entered a partnership with both FACC and Linz AG to help establish Linz – Austria’s third largest city – into a pilot Urban Air Mobility city.
While 5G infrastructure is currently available to ensure real-time communication for navigation during flight and landing, the partnership will also look at determining a suitable testing route over uninhabited areas to vertiports within the city. While construction is planned for 2021, trial flights are planned in the near future.
In the course of the test flights, various aspects will be carefully studied including the practicality of implementation in urban areas, acceptance by the populace and the expected positive impact on the environment.
EHang (Nasdaq: EH) is the world’s leading autonomous aerial vehicle (AAV) technology platform company. Our mission is to make safe, autonomous, and eco-friendly air mobility accessible to everyone. EHang provides customers in various industries with AAV products and commercial solutions: air mobility (including passenger transportation and logistics), smart city management, and aerial media solutions. As the forerunner of cutting-edge AAV technologies and commercial solutions in the global Urban Air Mobility (UAM) industry, EHang continues to explore the boundaries of the sky to make flying technologies benefit our life in smart cities.