EHang EU autonomous passenger trials

  • September 15, 2021
  • William Payne

Chinese autonomous passenger VTOL maker EHang has completed beyond visual line of sight (BVLOS) trials in Estonia. The trials tested the company’s autonomous passenger aircraft, the AAV EHang 216 and the autonomous cargo aircraft, the Falcon. Both models were tested under the European Union’s GOF 2.0 integrated urban airspace validation project.

Under GOF 2.0, autonomous aircraft have to demonstrate safe, autonomous and eco-friendly urban air mobility (“UAM”) and the integration of unmanned aerial vehicles and air taxis into manned operations with air traffic management (“ATM”) and U-space services.

The Estonian Transport Administration has issued a Special Permit to EHang for trial flights in designated Estonian airspace until the end of 2021.

The EHang 216 is the first passenger-grade AAV to have conducted BVLOS trial flights in Estonian airspace.

During the live trials, the EHang 216 performed a passenger flight mission scenario from Tartu Airport to the Estonian Aviation Museum to demonstrate the uses cases and scenarios of eVTOL (electric vertical take-off and landing) intra-urban and peri-urban flights. No passengers were carried during this trial flight.

The EHang Falcon logistics model completed a flight parcel delivery from Tartu Airport to a cargo terminal at the Estonian Aviation Museum, to demonstrate the uses cases and scenarios of automated parcel delivery drones operating at low level.

These trial flights are among the first trials in the two-year GOF 2.0 project, with the focus of entry to and exit from defined airspaces. The trials demonstrate how manned and unmanned aviation can enter and leave various types of airspace, such as controlled/uncontrolled airspace and U-space airspace.

EHang has conducted a number of trial and demo flights of its passenger-grade AAVs in 10 countries across Asia, Europe, and North America.

EHang plans further trials under the GOF 2.0 testing regime and also plans more trial flights in Europe.