The EHang 216 eVTOL self-flying helicopter has written aviation history by completing the world’s first autonomous commercial trip with living-breathing human passengers. Taking to the skies above a fisherman’s wharf in China, this latest demonstration has shined a spotlight on unpiloted travel’s potential in the not-so-distant future.
At this point in time, EHang’s 216 eVTOL has over 2,000 flights under its belt – accomplished in 21 cities, six countries, across the last two years. Soundly proving its capabilities time and time again, it has now officially transitioned out from prototype stage into something more.
Featuring 16 propellers powered by 16 electric motors and a 17-kW battery, this two-seater is capable of a 60 mph cruising speed with a range of approximately 20 miles depending on the payload. And yes, humans can intervene if something goes wrong. Either by the passenger onboard via console or a central control station. There’s also a back-up system to ensure maximum safety.
“The positive support and feedback have strengthened our determination in our quest to bring this new style of mobility to the people,” says Hu Huazhi, EHang CEO.
Mass production of the EHang 216 eVTOL will begin later this year in Austria, with the short-term objective of securing a mainstream involvement in logistics, delivery, and emergency response. As well as mainstream air travel in the long run, of course.
Check it out in action below.