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AutoFlight Advances
  • 17 Apr 2024 10:31 PM
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AutoFlight Advances

By VFS Staff
Vertiflite, May/June 2024

Chinese eVTOL company flies between cities, delivers to Japan and receives CAAC Type Certificate for cargo version.

AutoFlight’s identical but uncrewed CarryAll has received its type certificate from CAAC.

AutoFlight announced on Feb. 26 that it had conducted an intercity flight of its five-seat Prosperity eVTOL aircraft. The 20-minute flight occurred between the cities of Shenzhen and Zhuhai in China’s southeast Pearl River Delta, a trip that takes three hours by car. It was the “world’s first cross-sea and intercity eVTOL demonstration flight,” said founder and CEO Tian Yu in a press release.

Meanwhile, on April 3, AutoFlight said that it had delivered a Prosperity aircraft to its first customer in Japan, an as-yet-unnamed Japanese advanced air mobility (AAM) company that intends to conduct demonstration flights at the 2025 World Expo, taking place April through October 2025 in Osaka, Japan.

The April 3 press release also stated that AutoFlight’s V2000CG CarryAll aircraft, the cargo variant of Prosperity, obtained its type certification (TC) from the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) on March 22. This marks the world’s first eVTOL aircraft above one ton to have been awarded a TC, and the second eVTOL aircraft worldwide, after the CAAC’s type certification of the two-seat EHang EH216-S, (see “A Small Step for EHang, a Giant Leap for eVTOL,” Vertiflite, Nov/Dec 2023). To date, AutoFlight has completed more than 10,000 eVTOL flights, including a record-setting flight distance of 155 miles (250.3 km).

The company had announced in early February that the CAAC had completed all of its verification testing. During the compliance verification testing phase, the CarryAll carried out more than 30 compliance test categories on performance control, the lift/thrust system, structures, composite blades, battery system, avionics system and electrical system, and each was approved in accordance with the certification plan.

First delivery of a Prosperity I in Japan.

The verification testing involved 156 flights, exceeding a total flight distance of 5,400 nm (10,000 km). Three CarryAll prototypes carried out nine major compliance test categories, including plateau performance, data link and ground station functions in multiple locations in China, including Kunshan, Jiangsu, Gansu and Qinghai.

Prosperity and CarryAll have a 4,400-lb (2,000-kg) gross weight, a maximum range of 135 nm (250 km) and a maximum cruise speed of 108 kt (200 km/h). The Prosperity is designed for a maximum payload of 770 lb (350 kg): four passengers plus a pilot. The uncrewed CarryAll is rated for 880 lb (400 kg) of cargo. A firefighting variant can carry four extinguishing canisters of 220 lb (100 kg) each, for an extinguishing area of 8,600 ft² (800 m²).

The company also has smaller uncrewed versions of its lift-plus-cruise design. The Albatross can carry a 220-lb (100-kg) payload at ranges up to 115 nm (210 km), while the White Shark can carry a 44-lb (20-kg) payload up to 270 nm (500 km). In addition, AutoFlight makes electric marine products: a small electric catamaran, an electric jet ski and electric-powered surfboards.

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