eHang Is About To Make Aviation History — 1st eVTOL Service Coming In December

Credit to Author: Nicolas Zart| Date: Fri, 25 Oct 2019 03:00:57 +0000

Published on October 24th, 2019 | by Nicolas Zart

October 24th, 2019 by  

It’s been a little while since we dedicated proper time to covering revolutionary eHang and its progress with electric vertical takeoff & landing (eVTOL) aircraft. Besides the blisteringly fast pace of several aircraft developments, the company is readying its eHang 216 autonomous aerial vehicles (AAVs).

eHang demonstration. Photo courtesy eHang

eHang surprised me a few years ago when the drone company decided to put a seat in what looked like a bigger version of its drone. Founder and CEO Hu Huazhi has led the company through the development of a few more. Working at a Chinese time pace, the company is readying the launch of the very first eVTOL urban air mobility (UAM) service in Guangzhou, China, this December. eHang wants to become a full-stack UAM solution and will most likely be the first eVTOL aircraft operator in service.

eHang also announced that its “passenger-grade” aircraft found customers not only in Asia but also in Europe and North America. We’ve reached out to the company and are waiting on answers to a few questions we sent them. We do know that the United Therapeutics subsidiary Lung Biotechnology wants to use its eVTOL aircraft to transport organs for human transplants, as per

eHang AVV. Photo courtesy eHang

eHang AVV. Photo courtesy eHang

So far, eHang wants to focus on tourism, medical applications, and general transportation. It is working closely with the International Civil Aviation Organization, the European Union Aviation Safety Agency, and the Civil Aviation Administration of China. eHang will fly its eHang AVV on regular service in Guangzhou. The AVV denomination stands for Aerial Autonomous Vehicle. eHang not only has AVV but also offers drones.

eHang drone. Image courtesy eHang.

According to AIN, eHang got its unmanned aircraft system (UAS) safety certificate from the China Academy of Civil Aviation Science and Technology (CAST). This gives the company a Level II certificate for its eHang 216 AAV. It also includes its Falcon drone in a UAS.

eHang confidentially applied for an initial public offering (IPO), according to Bloomberg. It plans to open up 10% to 15% of its shares, although the valuation has not yet been set, according to the sources who are not known nor confirmed at the time of writing. eHang plans to raise as much as $200 million, according to the unidentified sources. According to the same sources, Credit Suisse Group AG and Morgan Stanley are involved. None of the companies nor NASDAQ confirm the story, yet.

It’s truly mesmerizing to see how far the eVTOL and electric fixed-wing industries have gotten in a few short years. Although companies such as Pipistrel have been making electric airplanes for well over a decade and many startups were working under the news radar a decade ago, the eVTOL industry was met with much suspicion until recently, and even still is by some.

We’re happy to continue covering this wild industry as it takes UAM to the next frontier.

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Nicolas was born and raised around classic cars of the 1920s, but it wasn’t until he drove an AC Propulsion eBox and a Tesla Roadster that the light went on. Ever since he has produced green mobility content on various CleanTech outlets since 2007 and found his home on CleanTechnica. His communication passion led to cover electric vehicles, autonomous vehicles, renewable energy, test drives, podcasts, shoot pictures, and film for various international outlets in print and online. Nicolas offers an in-depth look at the e-mobility world through interviews and the many contacts he has forged in those industries. His favorite taglines are: “There are more solutions than obstacles.” and “Yesterday’s Future Now”