The Ehang AAV is the largest autonomous aerial vehicle that Ehang, a Chinese company with a large wealth of experience in drone manufacturing, has designed and flown to date. Ehang mostly specializes in smaller drone technologies, but has scaled their experience and product with the AAV. EHang has conducted successful flight tests in extreme environments, including a typhoon, and has hosted numerous public demonstration flights. The company is quite popular in China and is rapidly spreading their global influence, having conducted demonstration flights in Asia, the middle east, Europe, and North America to date.
Stage of Development
Aircraft Type: Wingless VTOL
Range: 22 miles with max payload
Top Speed: 80 mph
Propeller Configuration: 16 rotors (8 dual rotors)
Passenger/Payload Capacity: 2 Passengers, or 485 lbs total payload
Autonomy Level: Autonomous
Dimensions: 18' 4" wingspan, 5' 9" length
Flight Endurance: 25min (est)
Empty Weight: 793 lbs
Cruising altitude: 1600 ft (AGL)
Charging Time: 1 hr
Max Takeoff Weight: 1322 lbs
Main frame: Reinforced composite material with carbon fiber and epoxy
Other components: aerial aluminum alloy
Seat Depth: 1' 3"
Seatback Height: 2' 10"
Seatback angle: 95 degrees
Storage capacity: 18-inch backpack
Our Take on the EHang AAV
Ehang boasts more drone building experience than most other eVTOL manufacturers, and seemed to have benefited from approaching the eVTOL design process by scaling up their previous drone projects, designing an autonomous vehicle from the start, and conducting rigorous testing early and often. The company has rapidly filled a large product line and advanced drone technology in that time frame, despite being a relative newcomer to the aerospace industry when compared with other larger OEM's. Their strength in relationships with with Chinese local and national government officials and the CAAC has aided their progress, including the facilitation of a pilot program that offers limited aerial mobility operations in select cities along coastal China. Given the huge emerging market for on-demand transportation in China, and Asia in general, EHang has great potential to make a huge impact on the way people move. Furthermore, the recent explosion of ride-sharing services like Uber and Grab in Asia will aid in shifting public sentiment toward accepting on-demand transportation, regardless of mode.
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