EHang has received the first order for its VT-30 Autonomous Aerial Vehicle, with Japan’s Okayama Kurashiki Mizushima Aero & Space Industry Cluster Study Group (MASC) committing to exploring use cases for the two-seat eVTOL aircraft, as well as the Chinese manufacturer’s EH216 model. The announcement late last month did not specify how many VT-30s MASC intends to purchase or when deliveries will be made.
Over the past six months, with MASC’s support, EHang has conducted a series of demonstration flights with the EH216 in the Japanese cities of Fukushima and Okayama. The companies are jointly evaluating possible passenger services in the country, as well as logistics and emergency medical applications.
The most recent display was at the Kasaoka Air Station in Okayama on December 23 and involved the eVTOL carrying a 60-kg (132-pound) payload. Local officials in Fukushima have been laying plans for commercial operations to begin from 2023.
In May, EHang unveiled the VT-30 as a longer-range alternative to the EH216, which can only fly routes of up to around 22 miles. EHang has not provided any details about the composition of the all-electric propulsion system that it claims will support a range of up to 300 km (187 miles) or endurance of 100 minutes.
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