The Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) has formally issued the special conditions necessary for EHang to to obtain EH-216-S type certification. The Chinese aerial mobility company will need to follow these conditions for its two-seater eVTOL aircraft, the EH-216, in order to begin mass production and commercial operations. The conditions include criteria regarding flight performance, structures, design and constructions, propulsion systems, systems and equipment, and data link and ground control stations.

The 32-page special conditions document, effective February 9th, is now published on the CAAC website. If EHang successfully meets the requirements detailed in this document, the company’s EH-216-S will be able to begin commercial operations focused on low-altitude, passenger-carrying flights.

Photograph: EHang

EHang’s rapid progress, which is currently years ahead of many competitors, can largely be attributed to a consensus with the CAAC (Civil Aviation Administration of China) which, according to Founder, Chairman and CEO Huazhi Hu, is based “on the guiding principle that operational trial flights can gradually be carried out, while advancing the certification progress.”

The company says it has already completed around 2,800 “operational trial flights” across seven “air mobility trial operations”, providing aerial sightseeing and short-distance mobility services in Guangzhou, Hezhou, Shenzen, Zhaoqing and Sanya. Most recently, the EHang 216 autonomous aerial vehicle (“AAV”) completed a debut flight demonstration for aerial sightseeing in the tourism hotspot of Bali, Indonesia. This demonstration flight was conducted under EHang’s cooperation with Indonesian local partner Prestige Aviation, a subsidiary of Prestige Corp.

Photograph: EHang

This news follows the appointment of EHang’s new Chief Operating Officer, Xin Fang. Fang will be in charge of the company’s daily operations, managing sales and commercialization of EHang’s planned aerial mobility services.

“I’m delighted to welcome Xin Fang to join EHang’s management team,” said Huazhi Hu, founder, chair, and CEO of EHang, in a press release. Hu went on to say that Fang’s background will “lay the solid groundwork for our next stage of business growth and operations as we are moving ahead with the 100 Air Mobility Routes Initiative, especially in the field of aerial sightseeing and tourism.”

Photograph: EHang

Why it’s important: Obtaining type certification under the new special conditions will enable EHang to begin commercial operations in the near future, potentially years ahead of other air taxi makers. In addition, EHang’s high number of completed demonstration flights and its 20,000 autonomous trial flights with the EH216 have taken place 11 different countries – far more, the company claims, than any other manufacturer. “With abundant operational experience accumulated and safety records built,” reads EHang’s earnings report, “the Company expects to turn these operational trial flights into commercial ones after the approval of the EHang 216 Type Certificate is obtained.”

Source // EHang press release

Posted by Ian Shin