EHang is a dominant player in the quadcopter drone market. The company hopes to extend its unmanned electric VTOL technology to manned applications. The EHang 216 is based on the EHang 184, yet it has eight arms instead of four. This allows for the vehicle to be seat two passengers instead of just one.
The EHang 216 Autonomous Aerial Vehicle (“AAV”) was first announced in February 2018. Manned and unmanned flight testing was conducted in China in 2017, and a manned flight test with Dutch prince Pieter Christiaan took place at the Amsterdam ArenA in April 2018.
In a July 2017 interview for CNBC, EHang co-founder Derrick Xiong stated that “at this moment we are working closely with Dubai and we have actually, together with them, we have done numerous tests, internally. Also, we have basically done a lot of — many, many times — tests with a passenger on it, including the vice-mayor of Guangzhou City in China and also some governors from Dubai as well. We have done a lot of tests and we aim to do the very first public demo very soon this year.”
As of July 2018 the 216 has made over 1,000 manned flights by July 2018 and has traveled 8.8 km on a single trip.
In April 2019, EHang advertising states "Welcome To The Urban Air Mobility Project" and that their starting point will be Austria. Their vision: "To establish a human-focused, sustainable way for people to get about in the future. We seek to create shortcuts – so transport is no longer restricted by roads. Shortcuts that will allow nature to reconquer areas now occupied by concrete and traffic jams. Shortcuts that offer each person more freedom to move in urban space."
According to an April 16, 2019 interview with Urban Air Mobility Magazine, getting to regular production involves two (2) stages. Stage one (1) is making several hundred copies for testing in multiple countries around the world. Stage two (2) building the aircraft in large numbers. Their partners now include FACC (a global technology leader of designing, developing and manufacturing lightweight systems for the aerospace industry) located in Austria and ProSiebenSat.1 PULS 4 group for their branding the EHang product. Both companies are located in Austria.
The EHang eVTOL aircraft have proprietary in-flight operating systems. The autopilot and flight control system gathers data from accelerometers, gyroscopes, a magnetic compass, barometers, visual sensors, global navigation satellite system (GNSS) receivers, millimeter wave radars and more, using this information to make intelligent navigation decisions. Other systems include communications, battery management and safety management with support coming from the EHang Command Center.
As of January 2020, EHang has reported that for the EHang 216 aircraft, over 2,000 passenger flight tests have taken place including flying in winds up to 70 km/h (44 mph), in fog and with low visibility situations which have been around 50 m (164 ft). EHang is also seeking U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) approval for their aircraft and their first U.S. flight test took place in January 2020.
EHang has also designed multiple types of E-Ports allowing rooftop landing on tall buildings with interior automated storage. E-Ports have been designed for building with large and small roof areas. E-Ports have also been designed for ground and water based landing facilities as well.
- Aircraft type: eVTOL
- Piloting: Autonomous
- Passengers: 2
- Cruise speed: 100 km/h (62 mph)
- Maximum speed: 130 km/h (81 mph)
- Maximum altitude: 3,000 m (9,843 ft)
- Range: 35 km (22 miles)
- Flight time: 21 minutes
- Passenger control panel: 30.5 cm (12 in) screen
- Payload: 220 kg (485 lbs)
- Battery recharging time: 120 minutes
- Propellers: 16
- Electric motors: 16
- Windows: Large windows for spectacular views for the passengers
- Doors: 2 gull-wing doors
- Landing gear: Skid type
- Safety features: Distributed Electric Propulsion (DEP), having multiple propellers and motors provides safety through redundancy for its passengers. If one (1) or two (2) motors or propellers fail or more, the other working propellers can safely land the aircraft. The aircraft has a multitude of sensors and navigation equipment to allowing the aircraft to make smart decisions depending upon weather and obstacles during the flight. EHang Command Control Centers also increase the safety of the aircraft.
- EHang website
- EHang Urban Air Mobility Information
- EHang Facebook
- EHang Twitter
- EHang Instagram
- EHang YouTube
- Article: The Demand for On-Demand Mobility, Vertiflite, Jan. 2017
- Article: Air Mobility Bonanza Beckons Electric VTOL Developers, Vertiflite, Mar. 2017
- Article: EHang's driverless MEGADRONE carries passengers around China ..., Daily Mail, Feb. 6, 2018
- Video: EHang 216 Drone Taxi in Arena, Jeronymus80, Apr. 16, 2018
- Article: Heir and back! Dutch Prince flies into Amsterdam Arena in high-tech autonomous drone-taxi, Daily Mail, Apr. 16, 2018
- Video: EHang flight, EHang, Nov. 22, 2018
- Video: EHang AAV's first public "drone taxi" demonstration of passenger flight in Vienna, EHang, Apr. 8, 2019
- Video: EHang AAV "air taxi" multiple flights around the world, EHang, Jun. 19, 2019
- Video: Still think of air taxis as sci-fi? Check out these trial flights, Urban Air Mobility, EHang, Aug. 14, 2019
- Video: EHang, a world’s leading autonomous aerial vehicle (“AAV”) technology platform company, EHang, Sept. 4, 2019
- Video: EHang Smart City Management - UAV Command & Control Center in Shaoguan, EHang, Sept. 5, 2019
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- Video: EHang Delivers Batch of EHang 216 Passenger-Grade Autonomous Aerial Vehicles, EHang, Oct. 4, 2019
- Video: EHang Debuts In-City Demo Flight for Commercial Sightseeing Operation of FlyingTaxis, EHang, Dec. 4, 2019
- Video: Urban Air Mobility Becomes A Reality!, EHang, Dec. 11, 2019
- Video: EHang AAV First-Ever U.S. Trial Flight, Urban Air Mobility, EHang, Jan. 8, 2020
- Video: Meet George Jetson, EHang AAV is coming! Urban Air Mobility, EHang, Jan. 10, 2020
- Video: The Future of Transportation: Urban Air Mobility Systems, EHang, Jan. 15, 2020
- White Paper: The Future of Transportation: White Paper on Urban Air Mobility Systems, EHang, Jan. 15, 2020
- Article: EHang releases white paper on urban air mobility, eVTOL, Jan. 15, 2020
- Article: A closer look at the Ehang 216 pilotless air taxi, New Atlas, Jan. 29, 2020