Mr. Tian Yu founded Autoflight in 2016 and is headquartered in Shanghai, China. Autoflight is an aviation technology company specialized in the research and development of autonomous flight and electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) technology and aircraft manufacturing. Autoflight has set up research and development facilities in Munich, Germany and in Shenzhen, China, and have several manufacturing facilities across China. Mr. Tian Yu is also the founder of Yuneec, the predecessor of Autoflight, which was a world leader in consumer drones and the manufacturer of e-Spyder single-seat electric ultralight and E430 two-seat electric ultralight which first flew in June 2009.
Safety and reliability is a top priority for Autoflight and is applying interdisciplinary technologies to their aviation products including new materials, artificial intelligence, autonomous technology, sense and avoid in the air technology, multi-redundant flight control system, microelectronics, 4G and 5G telecommunication for multi-channel communication, ground radar assisted remote takeoff and landing function and many other technologies.
Autoflight unveiled their V1500M four passenger eVTOL — today known as the Prosperity I — at a September 2021 airshow in china. The autonomous aircraft was made specifically to allow landing or takeoffs from urban landing pads using eight fixed VTOL propellers. For forward flight, the aircraft has a high-wing and two rear pusher propellers allowing the aircraft to have a long flight range of 250 km (155 miles).
The V1500M has a cruise speed of 200 km/h (124 mph) to not only make Urban Air Mobility as fast as possible with four passengers and luggage. The aircraft has a maximum takeoff weight of 1,500 kg (3,307 lbs).
This aircraft has not only been made with redundancy of avionics and propellers but has also been simplified to keep purchase cost, maintenance cost and flight costs down. Instead of using retractable wheeled landing gear which increases the complexity of the aircraft, the designers opted to use four landing legs. These landing legs not only reduces the complexity of the aircraft but saves weight which is always welcome when it comes to aircraft.
On November 22, 2021, it was revealed that the German investor Lukasz Gadowski had invested $100M in Autoflight in order to support its development. The company expects to conduct the first flight for this aircraft in the immediate future.
AutoFlight announced on Jan. 18 that it had re-established a team in Germany that will focus on accelerating efforts to certify its Prosperity I, an eVTOL aircraft based on the V1500M. The Shanghai-based eVTOL developer has set a goal of certifying the Prosperity I with the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) by 2025.
On June 8, Shanghai-based AutoFlight shared a video of a full-length test flight of a full-scale Prosperity I eVTOL aircraft. The video, which runs for nearly eight minutes, shows an uncrewed Prosperity I during takeoff, flight and landing, and demonstrates the aircraft’s ability to transition between vertical and horizontal flight. The flight took place on June 2 and involved the Prosperity I flying over 8.9 miles (14 km) and reaching a maximum speed of 106 mph (172 km/h).
Autoflight v1500 full-scale model
- Aircraft type: eVTOL passenger aircraft
- Piloting: Autonomous
- Capacity: 4 passengers
- Cruise speed: 200 km/h (124 mph)
- Range: 250 km (155 miles)
- Flight Time: Unknown
- Maximum takeoff weight: 1,500 kg (3,307 lbs)
- Propellers: 10 propellers
- Electric Motors: 10 electric motors
- Power source: Batteries
- Fuselage: Carbon fiber composite
- Windows: Large side windows for spectacular views for passengers
- Wings: 1 high wing with two booms
- Tail: Twin boom with two rear ventral fins
- Landing gear: 4 fixed landing gear struts
- Safety features: Distributed Electric Propulsion (DEP), provides safety through redundancy for its passengers and/or cargo. DEP means having multiple propellers (or ducted fans) and motors on the aircraft so if one or more propellers (ducted fans) or motors fail, the other working propellers (or ducted fans) and motors can safely land the aircraft.
- Autoflight website
- Autoflight Twitter
- Autoflight YouTube Channel
- Autoflight LinkedIn
- Video: AutoflightX passenger eVTOL, Autoflight, date unknown
- Article: AutoFight Reveal V1500M four-seat eVTOL Prototype at Airshow China 2021 in Zhuhai, eFlight Journal, Sept. 29, 2021
- Article: AutoFlight unveils Chinese eVTOL air taxi, Aviation Week, Oct. 13, 2021
- Article: Autoflight Reveal V1500M four-seat eVTOL Prototype at Airshow China 2021 in Zhuhai, eFlight Journal, Sept. 29, 2021
- Article: Lukasz Gadowski invests $100 Million in Autoflight, eFlight Journal, Nov. 22, 2021
- Article: China's Rising eVTOL Industry, Vertiflite, Nov/Dec 2021
- Article: AutoFlight Raises $100M to Advance V1500M, Vertiflite, Jan/Feb 2022
- Article: AutoFlight Aiming at EASA Certiﬁcation, Vertiflite, Mar/Apr 2022
- Video: AutoFlight Air Taxi Prosperity I POC#2 Full Test Flight Video, AutoFlight, June 7, 2022
- Article: AutoFlight Reveals Test Flight, Vertiflite, July/Aug 2022