Aerofugia (沃飞长空), a major Chinese eVTOL player, sold 100 of its signature AE200 eVTOL aircraft to Sino Jet (华龙航空), a domestic business jet service provider, after the two parties signed a strategic agreement in southwestern China’s Chengdu on July 26.
The deal will establish Aerofugia as the eVTOL supplier for Sino Jet.
The agreement was signed two days in advance of the biennial Summer Universiade, which opened today in Chengdu, the provincial capital of Sichuan.
AE200 is a five- or six-seater tilt-rotor eVTOL aircraft the company introduced this year. With a height of 3.5 m and a wingspan of 14.5 m, it has a maximum range of 200 to 300 km and a cruising speed of 250 km.
Guo Liang, CEO of Aerofugia, and Wang Chao, general manager of Sino Jet’s strategic division, attended the signing ceremony in the presence of Aerofugia’s partners, investors and local politicians.
Representatives from Tsinghua Holdings Capital and other financial backers in the company’s Series A fundraising also took part in the signing ceremony.
cnrobopedia reported in early July that the Geely-backed Aerofugia closed its Series A funding round for an amount exceeding 100 million yuan (US$13.79 million).
Setting the ground
Aerofugia explained that the tie-up with Sino Jet represents the “first” such collaboration in the field of business jet charter services, opening the door to an era of growing adoption of eVTOL in the business travel segment.
Following the transaction, the two sides will continue to leverage their respective operational strengths and supply chain advantages to facilitate standard-setting in airworthiness certification of eVTOL aircraft as a whole.
Cooperation is also expected to get underway in areas such as construction of so-called vertipads for eVTOLs and commercial operation of flight routes, so as to provide comprehensive solutions for urban air mobility (UAM) in low altitude airspace.
In recent months, a slew of Chinese eVTOL startups have quickened their pace of commercialization. Some forged partnerships or inked deals with jet charter operators to deploy their products for passenger-carrying or cargo delivery tasks.
Aerofugia is one of them. It previously set up a joint venture with Volocopter, a German eVTOL company also backed by Geely Motors, in a bid to tap the Chinese market.