EHang Holdings Limited (Nasdaq: EH), a leading urban air mobility (UAM) technology platform company, announced on October 13 that EH216-S, its self-developed passenger-carrying unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) system, has obtained the type certificate (TC)officially issued by the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC).
This demonstrates that EH216-S’s model design fully complies with CAAC’s safety standards and airworthiness requirements, and that it is qualified for conducting passenger-carrying UAV commercial operations.
EH216-S has a dimension of 1.93m (height) and 5.73m (width). With a maximum take-off mass (MTOM) of 620 kg, the aircraft has a range of 30km and can cruise at a maximum 130 kph.
As the world’s first TC for unmanned eVTOL aircraft, the EH216-S TC not only sets a benchmark for the airworthiness certification of innovative eVTOLs in China and overseas, but also serves as a milestone for commercial UAM operations, a corporate press release says.
EHang said that after more than “1,000 days and nights of persistent efforts” since CAAC accepted EHang’s TC application in January 2021, its team overcame all kinds of difficulties and challenges to complete all type certification objectives.
Leading the world with a regulatory framework
This proves that EHang is capable of independently designing, developing, and manufacturing mature unmanned eVTOL products, EHang said.
Amid a shifting global landscape where eVTOL airworthiness regulations are still evolving, China has taken the lead in formulating a regulatory framework with its airworthiness certification of EH216-S.
This provides a foundation for more efficient and wide-scale airworthiness certification for aircraft of this kind in China and abroad, the release says.
During the validation process, EH216-S underwent extensive laboratory, ground, and flight tests at professional aviation laboratories and test sites across multiple locations in China.
These tests included main material performance, structural strength, flame resistance, crashworthiness, gas toxicity, environmental conditions of equipment and systems, software simulation, data links, ground control stations, overall system functionality, electromagnetic compatibility, flight performance and flight stability characteristics.
The validation process scrutinized components, equipment, and the entire aircraft for prefabricated defects, faults and interferences during both laboratory experiments and flight trials.
“Our self-developed EH216-S passenger-carrying UAV system has finally met high expectation to secure the first TC in the global eVTOL industry, marking a significant chapter in civil aviation history,” Hu Huazhi, Founder, Chairman and CEO of EHang, said.
“Embracing the TC as our springboard, we will launch commercial operations of the EH216-S unmanned eVTOLs, prioritizing safety above all,” Hu explained. “This will enable us to steadily progress towards our strategic goal to be a UAM platform operator, and commit to our mission to enable safe, autonomous, and eco-friendly air mobility accessible to everyone.”