16 arm EHANG 184 with Derrick Xiong

In February 2018, EHANG — a major player in the quadcopter market — revealed a new version of its 184 eVTOL drone with two-seats and twice as many arms and propellers. The new version can carry a total payload of up to 620 lb (280 kg). The company had unveiled the original 184, whose name means “1 passenger, 8 propellers, 4 arms”, in January 2016 at the Consumer Electronics Show.

In a video of the 184’s first public flights in Lianyungang city, China, EHANG said that the 40 or so passengers flown so far included Wang Dong, deputy mayor of Guangzhou; EHANG founder and CEO, Huazhi Hu; and Derrick Xiong, EHANG co-founder and chief marketing officer (shown in the photo in the 16-propeller 184). The new version is apparently still named “184” and no further details were revealed (though if the company had used the same naming logic, it would have been designated the “EHANG 2168”).

EHANG’s engineers also tested the 184 in a variety of weather conditions, including high heat, heavy fog, night and “during a Category 7 typhoon with gale-force winds.” The company said that its “150 technical engineers have conducted thousands of test flights, including a vertical climbing test reaching up to 300 m [984 ft], a loaded test flight carrying approximately 230 kg [500 lb], a routed test flight covering 15 km [8 nm], and a high-speed cruising test that reached 130 km/h [70 kt].” EHANG said the 184 can carry a single passenger of 220 lb (100 kg) roughly 23 minutes of flight per charge, or up to 10 miles (16 km).

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