The Chinese company eHang is developing an eVTOL “air taxi”, and as part of the third quarter of 2021 earnings conference call, the company’s founder, chairman, and CEO Hu Huazi mentioned, “Yihang has reached a consensus with the Civil Aviation Administration of China, and while promoting the review process, it can also gradually carry out guidance related to flight test.”
If everything goes their way, the company expects to finish the certification work very soon so they can move on to commercial operations in the next few months.
However, putting a vehicle into commercial operation is a great task, and in order to push commercialization, Ehang is already carrying out extensive and comprehensive manned flight tests all over the world. The company also mentioned that so far it has completed about 2800 air test flights in seven places, including Guangzhou, Hezhou, Shenzhen, Zhaoqing, and Sanya. With the progression already gaining momentum, the company is hoping that it can soon provide air sightseeing and short-distance commuting services in the near future.
Moreover, the EH216 model of air taxis has also completed more than 20,000 autonomous test flights in 11 market areas. Now that the company has a safe record of the test flights, Ehang hopes the next production phases will go smoothly.
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The Chief strategy officer of Ehang, Xu Huaxiang, mentioned that the company is already promoting its cooperation with the Civil Aviation Administration of China and that the certification work for the same has finally reached the final verification stage. Xu Huaxiang also said that the developing work of the eVTOL is taking place satisfactorily.
On the other hand, the leading US company called Joby Aviation is hoping to obtain its first eVTOL certification from the Federal Aviation Administration sometime in 2023, whereas the German company Lilium will have to wait until 2024 to be ready for commercial promotion.