On October 13th, US-listed Chinese drone maker EHang Holdings Limited announced that its self-developed EH216-S autonomous passenger aerial vehicle system has been officially granted a Type Certificate by the Civil Aviation Administration of China. This signifies that the design of EH216-S fully complies with the safety standards and airworthiness requirements of the Civil Aviation Administration of China, qualifying it for commercial operation as an unmanned aerial vehicle carrying passengers.
This is also the world’s first certified model of an unmanned electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) aircraft.
As a disruptive innovative technology and product, EH216-S has significant differences compared to traditional aircraft in terms of technological architecture, configuration, performance, functionality, as well as operational mode and flight environment.
In terms of airworthiness certification standards, the “Special Conditions for EHang EH216-S Unmanned Aerial Vehicle System” was officially released in February 2022, bringing together top experts from the Civil Aviation Administration of China, its local management bureaus, universities, as well as research institutions.
In terms of verification, EH216-S has undergone a large number of laboratory tests, ground tests, and flight tests in professional aviation laboratories and test sites across China. These tests include but are not limited to main material performance, structural strength, flame retardancy, impact resistance, equipment and system environment, etc., all of which serve to validate the components’ and equipment’s pre-existing defects or faults during testing and flight trials as well as interference verification. EH216-S has undergone comprehensive and rigorous validation for safety standards compliance, performance capabilities, reliability etc., including over 500 subjects for preliminary testing evaluation purposes; more than 40,000 flights for adjustment test flights; as well as formal conformity verification trials consisting of 65 major items with over 450 individual subjects.
Ehang‘s founder, chairman, and CEO Hu Huazhi said, “Taking Type Certificate as a new starting point, we will adhere to the principle of safety first and launch commercial operations for EH216-S unmanned eVTOL aircraft. We will continuously advance towards our strategic goal of becoming an urban air traffic platform operator and strive to achieve our mission of enabling everyone to enjoy safe, automated, and environmentally friendly air transportation.”