EHang announced that its EH216 AAV has successfully completed a demo flight tour across 4 cities in Japan in July and expanded its footprint for the first time into the Kansai region, Kyushu region and Shikoku region after its demo flights in Okayama and Fukushima cities last year.
On July 18th, EH216 made an appearance on the ceremonial day marking the 1,000-day countdown to the opening of the Expo 2025 Osaka, Kansai. These recent unmanned EH216 demo flights in Japan included over-the-sea flights as well as point-to-point flights.
With the support of EHang’s local partners, including Okayama Kurashiki Mizushima Aero & Space Industry Cluster Study Group, this EH216 flight tour in 4 Japanese cities made multiple breakthroughs in exploring urban air mobility use cases such as aerial sightseeing over the sea, air mobility, and smart logistics in Japan. On July 6, EH216 performed Japan’s first eVTOL demo flight over the sea for aerial sightseeing in Fukuyama City in Hiroshima Prefecture. On July 13, EH216 completed Japan’s first eVTOL point-to-point demo flight for air mobility in Oita City in Oita Prefecture. On July 21, EH216 conducted a demo flight carrying 80 kilograms of cargos for logistics transportation in Sakaide City in Kagawa Prefecture. Other than flight demos, EH216 has also been exhibited in downtown Oita on July 14 to further expand public cognition and interest in UAM for its future operations in Japan.
The Expo 2025 Osaka, Kansai will introduce new and innovative VTOL technology to the public and has plans to use eVTOL vehicles for visitor transportation at the Expo. Japanese authorities have established a public-private council for air transportation reformation in accelerating the implementation of related schemes and roadmaps. On the Expo 2025 Osaka, Kansai 1000-day countdown ceremonial day, EH216 successfully completed a demo flight in Amagasaki City in Hyogo Prefecture, witnessed by local government officials and the Consulate-General of China in Osaka as well as press, in order to assist local authorities in exploring the application of autonomous air mobility solutions and promote eVTOL flights at the Expo 2025 Osaka, Kansai.
Why it’s important: EH216’s flexibility in operability across multiple locales in quick succession are exemplary of the types of operation that eVTOL and AAM aircraft will support in the future. While the various use cases of EHang’s flights might not all be served in a single day of eVTOL operation, in certain situations they might be able to, if the need arises. Additionally, EHang’s increased flight footprint in Japan provides the opportunity for additional air traffic infrastructure to be laid in countries other than EHang’s native China, which will advance the global regulatory progression of UAM as well.