Formation flight for autonomous eVTOL aircraft

  • August 2, 2023
  • Steve Rogerson

AutoFlight has made history with the world first formation flight of three autonomous electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) aircraft.

The formation flight of three autonomous eVTOL aircraft took place in Shanghai, China, using three of AutoFlight’s Prosperity I models.

“We aim to complement urban and regional means of transport for all people by building very safe, quiet and affordable air taxis,” said Tian Yu, founder of AutoFlight.

Lukasz Gadowski, technology entrepreneur, investor and backer of AutoFlight, added: “It is a delight to be part of a venture that’s reshaping the frontiers of technology and innovation. With this successful flight, we have set a new standard for the eVTOL industry.”

The company, with dual headquarters in Augsburg, Germany, and Shanghai, China, previously achieved a world record flight in February 2023 where one of their prototypes covered 250km on a single battery charge, demonstrating the potential for sustainability in the sector.

Over the past 18 months, AutoFlight has continued to improve eVTOL technology, achieving a series of world firsts: the first full-scale eVTOL transition flight in January 2022 and the first eVTOL full length flight video release in June 2022.

The formation flight saw three generations of the Prosperity I aircraft, indicating the rapid evolution of the aircraft’s development. The company plans to make the prototypes into products, with a cargo version set to be released for safe cargo transport in Asia next year, and a passenger version gradually developed in the coming years.

“The formation flight is a testament to our commitment towards making aerial transport safe, sustainable, and accessible,” said Mark Henning, former Airbus helicopter engineering chief and head of the AutoFlight team in Europe. “We have much more to come.”