• +1-703-684-6777
  • news@evtol.news

EVT Aerotechnics ET9 001 (prototype)

EVT Aerotechnics  ET9 001 passenger eVTOL prototype aircraft free flight testing

 

ET9 001 (prototype)
EVT Aerotechnics
Nanjing City, Jiangsu, China
www.evt-aerotec.cn

EVT Aeronautics was founded in January 2022 and is based in Nanjing City, Jiangsu, China. The company is in the business of designing and manufacturing passenger and air cargo electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) and hybrid-electric VTOL aircraft for advanced air mobility (AAM). The  company's mission is to manufacture exceptionally safe, quiet, comfortable, fast and clean aircraft, while providing affordable low-altitude travel for millions of people.

According to one 2024 article, Nanjing has emerged as a pioneer in China’s low-altitude eVTOL aircraft in 2020 as one of the initial 13 civil uncrewed aerial vehicle test regions nationwide. The Nanjing Industrial Strong City Action Plan (2023–2025) calls for an acceleration in constructing low-altitude Internet of Things and drone bases, establishing a national aerospace electromechanical system model area and continuously expanding the low-altitude (air taxi and air cargo) economy’s scale.

The company's founding team comes from aviation institutes such as COMAC and AVIC, and has rich experience in the research and the development of crewed aircraft. The company's founders and engineering team have already collaborated by designing and developing various sized drones and conventional aircraft models since 2012 (approximately). The conventional aircraft the company's employees have worked on include the Shaanxi Y-8 medium-range transport plane produced by Shaanxi Aircraft Corporation, COMAC’s ARJ21 regional jet and the C919 narrow-body airliner.

EVT Aerotechnics has also developed a low-altitude computing model, a 3D simulation platform and a comprehensive low-altitude situation platform. These tools gather meteorological, geographical, historical and environmental data for different applications and airspace classifications. Using this data, the platform can monitor various elements such as three-dimensional environments, alerts, low-altitude aircraft, flight requests and jurisdictional information. It enables online control of the aircraft that typically follow preset routes to avoid air traffic congestion and enhance the efficiency of air travel. Moreover, the platform can intervene during flight operations by rerouting and modifying flight plans if there are obstacles or safety concerns along the air route, preventing potential accidents.

ET9 001 passenger eVTOL prototype aircraft
The ET9 001 is a five passenger eVTOL prototype aircraft. The company plans for the aircraft to have one pilot, carry four passengers and their luggage. The aircraft can also be reconfigured for air cargo service. The company intends for their aircraft design to have excellent aerodynamic performance verified with wind tunnel and flight tests. They also plan to use 5G communications and artificial intelligence in their aircraft.

The aircraft's expected maximum cruise speed is 240 km/h (149 mph) and has an estimated maximum range of 240 km (149 m). The planned empty weight is 1,700 kg (3,748 lb), with a maximum payload weight of 500 kg (1,102 lb) and has a maximum takeoff weight of 2,200 Kg (4,850 lb). For safety and to have enough vertical propulsion, the aircraft has distributed electric propulsion (DEP) which means having multiple propellers and multiple electric motors on the aircraft. This way, if one or more propellers or some electric motors fail, the other working propellers and electric motors can safely fly and land the aircraft.

The aircraft has eight VTOL-only propellers, two stacked one on top of the other, and one pusher propeller. If you notice in the pictures shown on this web page, the ET9 001 prototype did not have the pusher propeller installed on the aircraft at the time of the first flight tests. The aircraft has nine electric motors that the company has developed in-house. EVT Aerotechnic's electric aviation motors are fully enclosed, air cooled, have a high torque density and have a high efficiency. The aircraft will be powered completely by battery packs.

EVT Aerotechnics in-house developed aircraft electric motors

EVT Aeronautics in-house developed aircraft electric motors

The aircraft has large panoramic wrap around windows allowing forward, left and right visibility for spectacular views with a solid roof above the passenger compartment. The aircraft has one high main wing that is ~15 m wide (~49 ft., 3 in.) and has one rear V-shaped horizontal stabilizer with winglets. The production aircraft is planned to have modular carbon fiber composite fueslage, wing and vertical stabilizers for a high strength and low weight ratio.  The all composite carbon fiber body will include T700 and T800 carbon fiber. Airframe manufacturing is carried out in collaboration with Linghang Composites, a subsidiary of the state-owned Aviation Industry Corporation of China (AVIC) and wholly owned by China Aviation Industry General Aircraft (part of AVIC). The aircraft has fixed skid landing gear.

eVTOL and hybrid-electric VTOL aircraft have a distinct advantage over conventional aircraft. The weight reduction from having no conventional combustion or turbine engine(s), transmission, gears, linkages, fuel tanks and fuel increases the reliability and safety of the aircraft. In addition, electric motors are more reliable than conventional engines and have a long service life.

This new type of electric aircraft increases safety exponentially, reliability increases, efficiency increases, a higher payload weight per pound of aircraft occurs, can use multiple power sources, increases the service life of the aircraft (overall), reduces manufacturing costs, reduces the manufacturing time, lowers the cost of purchasing the aircraft and reduces maintenance costs. Reducing complexity also reduces weight which then in turn, increases the range of the aircraft. These new aircraft are also easier to install autonomous piloting and are typically scalable.

It is important to remember that all prototype aircraft specifications still being determined and can or will change as prototypes and production models are made, tested and flown with real world flight tests, avionics, components and payloads.

Prototype information and flight testing
The ET9 001 prototype successfully rolled off the assembly line in October 2023. The total assembly of the fuselage was completed in early November 2023. In order to verify the stability and reliability of the entire aircraft system, Yivit and the China Special Aircraft Research Institute jointly developed the most powerful and versatile electric aircraft co-paddle test bench in China and successfully conducted the ET9 011 prototype full aircraft ground electric bird joint test and power system bench testing. Yivit engineers obtained a large amount of data from the test which laid a solid foundation for design optimization and the first flight. The testing also provided a reliable basis for airworthiness verification. Wind tunnel tests also provided data support for future airworthiness compliance verification.

March 29, 2024 the first tethered flight test took place. During the test, it achieved hovering, yaw, roll, pitch and other maneuvers in the air. The first free flight took place in China on March 31, 2024. Flight testing was done near an AVIC International General Aircraft Sales and Delivery Center hangar located at an undisclosed Chinese airport.

The successful first flight of the ET9 001 prototype shows the research and development of this model has made notiable progress. The achievement not only validates the effectiveness of the design but also demonstrates the functionality of the entire system and is an important step from research and development towards a commercial product. Moving forward, the company plans to continue with test flights and to be certified by the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) in China

Future
The ET9 is planned to be used for on-demand air taxi service, emergency rescue and tourist flights. The company anticipates that its first products be available for sale within the next two to three years.

ET9 001 passenger eVTOL prototype top view, before tethered flight testing

ET9 001 passenger eVTOL prototype top view, before tethered flight testing

ET9 001 passenger eVTOL prototype tethered flight testing

ET9 001 passenger eVTOL prototype tethered flight testing

ET9 001 passenger eVTOL prototype before free flight test

ET9 001 passenger eVTOL prototype before free flight test

Specifications:

  • Aircraft type: Passenger eVTOL prototype aircraft
  • Piloting: 1 pilot
  • Capacity: 4 passengers and their luggage
  • Maximum cruise speed: ~240 km/h (149 mph)
  • Maximum range: 240 km (149 m)
  • Empty weight: 1,700 kg (3,748 lb)
  • Maximum payload weight: 500 kg (1,102 lb)
  • Maximum takeoff weight: 2,200 Kg (4,850 lb)
  • Propellers: 9 propellers (8 VTOL propellers, 1 pusher propeller)
  • Electric motors: 9 electric motors
  • Power source: Battery packs
  • Fuselage: Carbon fiber composite
  • Windows: Panoramic wrap around windows allowing forward, left and right visibility for spectacular views with a solid roof above the passenger compartment
  • Wings: 1 high main wing, ~15 m wide (~49 ft., 3 in.)
  • Tail: 1 V horizontal stabilizer with winglets
  • Landing gear: Fixed skid landing gear
  • Safety features: Distributed Electric Propulsion (DEP) means having multiple propellers (or electric ducted fans) and multiple electric motors on an aircraft so if one or more propellers (or electric ducted fans) or some electric motors fail, the other working propellers (or electric ducted fans) and electric motors can safely land the aircraft. DEP provides safety through redundancy for passengers or cargo. There are also redundancies of critical components in the sub-systems of the aircraft providing safety through redundancy. Having multiple redundant systems on any aircraft decreases having any single point of failure.

Related Aircraft:

Company Insights:

Resources: