EH216-S, EHang’s passenger-carrying unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) system, has obtained the type certificate (TC) officially issued by the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC). The EH216-S TC awarding ceremony was held at the CAMIC International Convention Center in Beijing on October 13, during which CAAC issued the EH216-S TC to EHang.
In February 2022, CAAC published the “Special Conditions” for the EH216-S UAV System, a pioneering initiative in the realm of eVTOL airworthiness regulations. This scientific regulatory framework, formulated by CAAC in collaboration with EHang and aviation professionals nationwide, provides a solid foundation for efficient and widespread airworthiness certification in China and beyond.
The EH216-S underwent extensive laboratory, ground, and flight testing across multiple locations in China. These tests encompassed material performance, structural strength, flame resistance, crashworthiness, gas toxicity, environmental conditions, software simulations, data links, ground control stations, system functionality, electromagnetic compatibility, flight performance, and flight stability characteristics. Over 500 specific test items were examined, along with more than 40,000 test flights for adjustments, and formal conformity validation tests covering 65 major categories and over 450 individual test items.
Mr. Huazhi Hu, Founder, Chairman, and CEO of EHang, remarked: “I extend my heartfelt gratitude to CAAC, the expert team, and all EHang employees for their unwavering dedication. Our self-developed EH216-S passenger-carrying UAV system has finally met high expectation to secure the first TC in the global eVTOL industry, marking a significant chapter in civil aviation history. Embracing the TC as our springboard, we will launch commercial operations of the EH216-S unmanned eVTOLs, prioritizing safety above all. This will enable us to steadily progress towards our strategic goal to be a UAM platform operator, and commit to our mission to enable safe, autonomous, and eco-friendly air mobility accessible to everyone.”
Why it’s important: This demonstrates that the EH216-S’s model design fully complies with CAAC’s safety standards and airworthiness requirements, and that the EH216-S is qualified for conducting passenger-carrying UAV commercial operations. As the world’s first TC for unmanned electric vertical take-off and landing aircraft (“eVTOL”), the EH216-S TC not only sets a benchmark for the airworthiness certification of innovative eVTOLs in China and overseas, but also serves as an epoch-making milestone for commercial UAM operations. While some aviation experts call into question the rigor of CAAC’s regulatory standards and certification process, this milestone undisputedly increases the overall momentum of the global aerial mobility industry.