The Autoflight vertical take-off taxi has made its first transition flight

The Autoflight vertical take-off taxi has made its first transition flight

The Chinese company eVTOL Autoflight has released the video of its first unmanned transition flight, moving from vertical lift to cruise, supported by the wings, at speed. The video is a perfect demonstration of the common "lift & cruise" style of eVTOL design.

This is a significant milestone for Autoflight, which has recently opened an office in Germany to target the European car market. air taxis. The aircraft, Prosperity I, is a 4-seat piloted design that promises a range of 250km at cruising speeds of up to 200km / h.

It is a lift & cruise design, with the passenger pod supported on a pair of large wings. These are equipped with long propulsion pods running from front to back, which contain three large lifting props each, and a fourth torque is elevated to a higher floor to keep the aircraft compact. The propulsion pods are connected at the front by an additional front wing, complete with control surfaces, and there is a pusher prop at the rear of the cabin for horizontal flight.

The team says the l The plane peaked at 198 km / h on this flight, which was launched from Autoflight's test facility in JiangSu province in January. There is still a long way to go before certification, which Autoflight hopes to achieve with both the Chinese CAAC and European EASA by 2025.

In a press release, the company sets out its claim supremacy over other eVTOL companies: “Existing solutions are either low performance or highly complex. Furthermore, most draw on traditional aviation supply chains, which are not designed for VTOL, and therefore involve unreasonable costs. "

Using a simple lift & cruise project with solid performance data, producing most of their own parts, hitting the market relatively early, and implementing a "powerful business model (combination of high margin aircraft sales of ~ 70%, ”Autoflight estimates it should bring in $ 100 billion annually by 2031, for a valuation of more than $ 1 trillion.

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