Aerofugia, a technology company under Geely, which focuses on low-altitude travel, vehicle flight and industry intelligent solutions, successfully completed its first flight on January 30 after the Spring Festival holiday. This flight marked a new stage in the test flight verification of the AE200 X01 series.
In September 2020, Geely announced the establishment of Aerofugia and subsequently released the Aossi X-Chimera25 UAV. Aerofugia focuses on the R&D, production and operation of unmanned aerial vehicles and flying vehicles.
Aerofugia is headquartered in Chengdu, Sichuan Province, and has branches in Beijing, Shenzhen, Wuhan, Xi’an and overseas. The AE200 is a 5-seat pure electric vertical take-off and landing aircraft (eVTOL) independently developed by Aerofugia. It aims at urban transportation but will have capabilities for expansion.
Since August 2022, when the self-developed flying car project and full-scale technology demonstrator were first announced, the AE200 has advanced in its product research and development, airworthiness certification and other aspects. In November 2022, it obtained the acceptance notice of the first manned eVTOL approval in China. In December 2022, all flight tests of key systems were completed and the AE200 X01 completed final assembly. On January 17, the first test flight of the AE200 X01 aircraft was successfully completed.
The low-altitude flight industry is a new branch in the aviation field. Guo Liang, chief scientist at Aerofugia, previously stated, “The first half of the vehicle electrification is the automobile, the second half may be aviation electrification. In fact, automobile companies, including Mercedes-Benz, Audi, Volkswagen, and airlines such as Boeing and Airbus, have already entered this industry.”
Taking medical rescue as an example, Guo Liang went on to explain, “For low-altitude travel, what we created in the early days was a scene related to medical rescue. In the past, the network established by helicopters in developed countries was actually very difficult to implement in China, and it was difficult to support it in terms of its efficiency and cost. However, because of the emergence of aviation electrification, we can provide better aviation medical security services for everyone.”
Guo added that the price of electric aviation in the early days was one-third to one-fifth of that of helicopter travel. With long-term development, costs should only be 2-3 times the price of online ride-hailing services on the ground. Guo further stated that this does not mean that every household will buy such an aircraft in the future, but that a form similar to the public service network will be established.