Vertaxi flying high with type certificate bid for M1 eVTOL aircraft

China's eVTOL space is indeed gaining traction over recent months. A development outline issued by the country's three ministries and civil aviation administration mandates that by 2025, eVTOL aircraft is to be operated on a trial basis.

Vertaxi (御风未来), a Chinese eVTOL pioneer, revealed to media that it had just conducted a maiden flight of its M1 model in suburban Shanghai, as a prelude to its efforts to obtain a type certificate from China’s aviation authorities.

The flight took place at an airport in Jinshan of Shanghai, Vertaxi says in an official WeChat post.

Following the flight, the M1 model will also be put on display for the first time to global visitors at the 6th China International Import Expo, due to be held on November 5-10.

M1 boasts a lift-and-cruise architecture, with 20 rotary blades and a capacity of 500 kg.

The 5-seat aircraft cruises at a maximum 200 kph and has a design range of 250 km.

Vertaxi explains that its aerial vehicles will be applied to provide intercity and intracity commutes and other types of short-distance “flying car” services.

This scenario, if achieved, will shorten a car ride of two to three hours to half an hour, the company said.

Fast pace of development

In June 2022, Vertaxi released the M1 design plan and less than six months later, the first prototype of M1 rolled off the production line at a Vertaxi assembling facility.

Since then, the company put its aircraft to a variety of tests and gave it multiple facelifts, before scheduling a first round of flights starting in September this year.

Within 30 days of the tests, Vertaxi said it completed ground test, electro magnetic compatibility test, full-dynamic aerial test,
aeroelasticity test and more.

“The successful maiden flight of M1 proved our judgment about China’s new energy technology and industrial chain,” Xie Ling, founder and CEO of Vertaxi. “The rapid growth and iteration of China’s battery, motor and electric control techniques can more than underpin the electrification of China’s and even the world’s aviation industry.”

He added Vertaxi is confident in keeping the core eVTOL supply chain within China through dedication to independent development。

Maturity of domestic supply chain

Dr. Liu Shiyi, co-founder and CTO of the company, also pins high hopes on building homegrown eVTOL aircraft, but he admits challenges lied ahead.

For instance, eVTOL is a new invention, meaning that the domestic new energy chain companies will have to adapt and evolve in order to meet the demand of eVTOL practitioners.

“But this will be an inevitable process for the indigenous eVTOL supply chain to become mature,” Liu explained.

China’s eVTOL space is indeed gaining traction over recent months. A development outline issued by the country’s three ministries and civil aviation administration mandates that by 2025, eVTOL aircraft is to be operated on a trial basis.

And by 2035, new general aviation equipment, especially eVTOL devices, that are unmanned, electric and intelligent will achieve commercialized adoption at scale, the document indicates.

Aside from the policy stimulus, industrial news also offered a shot in the arm. EHang (亿航智能), one of the nation’s first tech startups to tap into eVTOL technologies, obtained the world’s first type certificate on October 13, setting off a frenzy through the global urban air mobility community.

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Ni Tao

Ni Tao is the founder and editor-in-chief of cnrobopedia. Prior to cnrobopedia, he had a full decade of experience with a major state-run English-language newspaper as a tech reporter and opinion writer. He is also a communications specialist, having provided consultancy services to established firms like Siemens, Philips, ABinBev, Diageo, Group (Nasdaq: TCOM, HK: 9961), Jianpu Technology (NYSE: JT) and a handful of domestic startups. A graduate of Fudan University, he writes widely about China's business and tech scenes and other topics for global publications including South China Morning Post, SupChina, The Diplomat, CGTN, Banking Technology, among others, and tries to impart his experience to students at Fudan University Journalism School, where he is a part-time lecturer. When he's not writing about robotics, you can expect him to be on his beloved Yanagisawa saxophones, trying to play some jazz riffs, often in vain and occasionally against the protests of an angry neighbor. Get in touch with him by dropping a line at

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