China’s civil aviation authorities released a notice on December 1, saying it is seeking expert input regarding the type certificate application by Aerofugia (沃飞长空), a domestic eVTOL startup, for one of its models, Chinese media reported yesterday.
The news came almost a year after the Chengdu-headquartered firm submitted an application to CAAC Southwest Regional Administration, which governs the aviation sector in southwestern China, on November 22, 2022 for a type certificate on its six-seat AE200-100 aircraft.
The application was then the first of its kind nationwide filed for a passenger-carrying eVTOL device.
The notice published by the regulator marks another step for Aerofugia on its journey to acquiring the coveted license.
Type certificate is necessary to operating manned eVTOL services, industry observers pointed out.
After reviewing and evaluating the bid by Aerofugia, CAAC officials agreed to handle the type certificate application for AE200.
AE200 possesses a “lift and cruise” architecture, with fixed-wings and vertical takeoff and landing capabilities.
When airborne, it switches from vertical locomotion to a horizontal mode of propulsion, on the back of a distributed powertrain system.
AE200 has a maximum take-off mass (MTOM) of 2,500kg, a range of 200km and a cruising speed of 248kph.
With a lift of 1,000m (Above Ground Level Altitude) or 3,000m (Mean Sea Level Altitude), it has a dimension of 9.1m (L) × 14.5m (W) × 3.5m (H).