China’s EHang completes passenger-carrying eVTOL demonstration flight in UAE

EHang Holdings, an autonomous aerial vehicle technology company based in China, announced on Monday that its pilotless electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) aircraft EH216-S successfully completed its first passenger-carrying demonstration flight in Abu Dhabi, marking the first of its kind in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and the Middle East. 

The EH216 series pilotless eVTOL aircraft performed several autonomous flights at the Emirates Falcons Aviation Club in Al Ali, Abu Dhabi with the approval by the General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) of the UAE. 

"After obtaining approval for the demo flights carrying passengers and completing the inaugural flight, we will closely collaborate with the GCAA and the Civil Aviation Administration of China to accelerate the commercialization of our unmanned aircraft in the UAE. This will mark a significant milestone for Abu Dhabi and the global air mobility industry," Hu Huazhi, chief executive of EHang, was quoted as saying in a statement sent to the Global Times on Tuesday.

EHang's inaugural manned flight of the eVTOL in the UAE not only signifies the advancement of China's drone technology but also underscores growing international cooperation in the field of low-altitude economy.

China's low-altitude economy has been included in the new quality productive forces, according to the Government Work Report for 2024.

The EHang Intelligent EH216-S stands as the world's pioneering eVTOL aircraft to obtain all three certifications - Type Certificate (TC), Airworthiness Certificate (AC), and Production Certificate (PC). Capable of fully recharged within two hours, the EH216-S boasts a top speed of 130 kilometers per hour, with a flight endurance of 25 minutes and a designed range of 30 kilometers.

The pilotless eVTOL aircraft feature a compact fuselage, high redundancy design and intelligent cluster management, enabling safety and efficiency as well as scalable operations, in order to provide safe, autonomous, and eco-friendly air mobility.

Additionally, the EH216-F (for high-rise firefighting) and EH216-L (for aerial logistics) demonstrated their debut flights in the UAE too, showcasing a diverse range of UAM use scenarios of the pilotless eVTOL aircraft.

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