As one of the first electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) companies to successfully achieve a transition flight to date, AutoFlight recently announced its first successful proof-of-concept test flight for its Prosperity I aircraft. Taking place in Jiangsu province, it rose to an altitude of 150 meters, achieving speeds of up to 123 mph.
AutoFlight expects to be able to perform public demonstrations of its aircraft by the end of 2022, with the company working towards achieving type certification by 2025. AutoFlight additionally aims to start cargo delivery services using its V400 and V50 autonomous aircraft by the end of 2022.
The Prosperity I has been developed for short transfers between cities and airport commutes. It is projected that a trip taking hours by car could be reduced to about ten minutes by eVTOL aircraft. The company intends for services to eventually cost the same as a taxi ride.
According to a press release, in the transition phase of the eVTOL aircraft’s test flight, “the rotors on the top stop spinning and lock in a streamlined position, while the propellers on the rear push the aircraft forward like a traditional fixed-wing plane.”
AutoFlight CEO Tian Yu, commented “The team and I are thrilled to have cracked the smooth transition phase of eVTOL flight, unlocking the skies for Prosperity I and our commercial products. We are confident we have a good design underpinned by sound engineering, and delighted to see that the transition was smooth, safe and seamless.”
Mark Henning, Managing Director of AutoFlight Europe added, “The simplicity of AutoFlight’s design lies in our patented ‘Lift and Cruise’ configuration, which combines superior range and safety with low technical complexity, making it affordable to manufacture, maintain and operate as an air taxi.”
This milestone is the company’s latest development following the establishment of an R&D Certification Center at Augsburg airport in Germany. The company also appointed Mark Henning (formerly of Airbus) as AutoFlight’s European Managing Director, and raised an additional $100M from investor Team Global.
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