Chinese eVTOL aircraft completes test flight in Shanghai

2023-11-01 09:04:15Global Times Editor : Li Yan ECNS App Download

China’s first domestically developed and manufactured electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) aircraft has completed its test flight in Shanghai, offering new options for urban short-distance transportation. 

The eVTOL model was designed and manufactured by VERTAXI and is named M1. It has a maximum load of 500 kilograms and can carry up to five passengers. Running at a cruising speed of 200 kilometers per hour, the aircraft has a designed flying range of 250 kilometers. 

Serving as a short-haul aircraft, eVTOL aircraft aim to provide passengers with a swift, quiet and safe travel experience. The M1 is expected to meet the demand for short-distance air travel within and between cities, reducing a journey that would take two to three hours by car to about 30 minutes. 

The aircraft will be presented at the 6th China International Import Expo. 

Other Chinese companies have also joined this emerging field. Chinese automaker XPeng first unveiled its Kiwigogo flying car at the Beijing International Automobile Exhibition on September 26, 2020. It has tested several eVTOL prototypes including its latest model, the AeroHT. 

China is at the forefront in developing eVTOL aircraft. On October 10, a report jointly issued by the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, the Ministry of Science and Technology, the Ministry of Finance, and the Civil Aviation Administration of China proposed that by 2025, eVTOL aircraft could be operated in pilot schemes. The report also expected that by 2035, new types of unmanned, electrified smart aviation vehicles can achieve large-scale commercial application. 

The application of new energy technology in the aviation industry could trigger a revolution in the electrification of general aviation, said Xie Ling, founder and CEO of VERTAXI, Jiefang Daily reported. VERTAXI hopes to put eVTOL aircraft into commercial use as soon as possible, and realize the goal of air travel for all, Xie also said.

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