EHang Holdings Limited (Nasdaq: EH), announces a new electric autonomous aerial vehicle (AAV): the VT-30, a long range passenger drone designed for inter-city transportation.
Publicly traded EHang has taken passenger drones to the skies all over the world. EHang has active projects in emergency response and aerial tourism in China, and extensive pilot programs in Korea and Europe, where the company is working actively with civil aviation authorities. The signature EH216 was designed for intra-city transportation, a component of urban air mobility (UAM) multi-modal transportation structures. The VT-30 adds long range passenger drone capability to EHang’s offerings.
“With a hybrid structure, VT-30 is designed to travel a distances of up to 300km with a designed flight time of up to 100 minutes and is designed as a safe, convenient, efficient, eco-friendly and intelligent air mobility solution for inter-city travel,” says an EHang press release.
VT-30 has a streamlined fuselage with a combined lifting rudder surface at the tail. Equipped with eight propellers on both sides, it has a pair of fixed wings, and a propelling propeller at the rear, which are designed to achieve a maximum balance of hybrid lift and push. The distinctive design enables VT-30 to enjoy the advantage of both vertical and taxi take-off / landing modes, while satisfying the need for longer distance and flight time. Unlike conventional fixed-wing aircrafts, it saves the runway for take-off and landing. Moreover, the tri-redundancy fly-by-wire control system can be flexibly altered into multiple modes, implying a much higher safety level for the aircraft.
EHang says that the VT-30 will offer a viable solution for inter-city travel among city clusters: in China, clusters such as the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area, Yangtze River Delta, or Bohai Rim: carrying two passengers from one city to another. Eco-friendly, the VT-30 has a low noise footprint and zero emissions. “Compared with conventional inter-city transportation modes, VT-30 is expected to provide more efficient, environmentally friendly and low-cost solutions to urban dwellers as well as expanding the capacity of existing UAM services,” says the release.
“Our passenger-grade AAV EH216 is already fully equipped to travel in the cities with its lightweighted and streamlined structure, and the launch of the VT-30 provides a powerful complement to the inter-city air traffic network by meeting needs for covering longer distance,” said Mr. Huazhi Hu, Founder, Chairman and CEO of EHang, “Moving forward, these two product series will be used as core development for a service-oriented operations strategy to improve the safety, duration and capacity for carrying both passengers and goods. We will work continuously to obtain regulatory certification for our various AAV products, including the VT-30, and provide a more convenient and efficient public urban air mobility operational services.”
The VT-30 long range passenger drone is currently in testing: EHang says the vehicle will be used for commuting, aerial sightseeing, and aerial logistics.
Miriam McNabb is the Editor-in-Chief of DRONELIFE and CEO of JobForDrones, a professional drone services marketplace, and a fascinated observer of the emerging drone industry and the regulatory environment for drones. Miriam has penned over 3,000 articles focused on the commercial drone space and is an international speaker and recognized figure in the industry. Miriam has a degree from the University of Chicago and over 20 years of experience in high tech sales and marketing for new technologies.
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