EHang has provided an update on its passenger-grade autonomous aerial vehicle (AAV) EH216-S Type Certification process. The Project Specific Certification Plan has been officially approved by the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC).
At present, various specified review subjects have been confirmed, including performance and flight, structural strength, design and configuration, ground control station, airborne human-computer interaction, totality, continued airworthiness, etc., and activities for demonstration and verification of compliance are being prepared.
Furthermore, multiple positive results have been achieved on the specific algorithms based on aerodynamics, test flights for the overload ratio boundary, etc. Based on more than 30,000 safe trial flights of EH216-S that have been accumulated, it is planned by the Company to conduct further supplementary test activities and test flights for verification from October this year.
EHang has established a regular cooperative work mechanism with the EH216-S AAV Type Certification (TC) Review Panel organized by the CAAC after it formally adopted the Special Conditions for the EH216-S AAV in February 2022. Relevant national institutions, the aviation authority and the aviation industry in China have paid great attention and provided guidance and support to significantly enhance, deepen and accelerate the EH216-S TC process.
EH216-S is a world-leading passenger-grade autonomous electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) vehicle. Compared with traditional aircraft, EH216-S is innovative and revolutionary in its structure, configurations, operation modes and flight circumstances. Existing standards in the traditional civil aviation field cannot be directly applicable in the EH216-S TC process and new standards need to be formulated with innovations based on current policies, regulations, standards and experience. To date, there hasn’t yet been any case of an autonomous eVTOL aircraft having obtained the Type Certificate in the world, which would make the EH216-S TC project the world’s first of its type.
As China’s first passenger-grade AAV company, EHang has been actively preparing for the airworthiness certification and was approved by the CAAC as China’s first passenger-grade AAV airworthiness certification pilot enterprise in 2018. In February 2022, the CAAC officially issued the Special Conditions for the EH216-S AAV, which provides the compliance basis and safety standards for EH216-S AAVs. So far, EH216-S AAVs have completed more than 30,000 trial flights including passenger-carrying ones and test flights in extreme environments like high altitudes, typhoons, deserts and heavy fog. The accumulated data, experience and safe records have been compiled to support demonstration and verification of compliance, and an appropriate amount of test flight subjects will be further supplemented to accelerate the completion of demonstration and verification of compliance.
Huazhi Hu, Founder, Chairman and CEO of EHang, commented, “EHang has always been committed to bold innovation, careful analysis and prudent verification, and contributing our experience and expertise to formulating relevant industry standards and norms, as well as leading the development of the global eVTOL industry. Completing the airworthiness certification process is a necessary and critical step to further validate the product safety. We are fully confident to obtain the EH216-S Type Certificate as we have basically done the most arduous work by now. We will make continued efforts to accelerate all the remaining processes in the upcoming months in order to obtain the EH216-S Type Certificate as soon as possible.”