The Future of Advanced Air Mobility

India-based ePlane is developing a family of light eVTOL aircraft. The two-seat e200 vehicle is primarily intended for personal transportation and air taxi services, while the smaller e50 and e6 models could potentially be used for freight operations. As of January 2022, the Chennai-based company had not set a timeline for type certification and service entry.

Following the completion of a $5 million pre-Series A funding round, ePlane said it was aiming to fly the quarter-scale e50 prototype in March 2022, followed by the full-scale prototype (200 kg payload) in July. The business operates out of the Indian Institute of Technology Madras. 

Timeline

test flight

First flight of e200 full-scale prototype.
Projected

test flight

First flight of e50 quarter-scale prototype.

Outlook

Our objective assessment of this program’s probable success.

FutureFlight assesses the probability of success for a new aircraft program by considering the following criteria:

  • Total investment funds available in proportion to the anticipated cost of getting an aircraft certified and in service
  • A company’s in-house capability (in terms of numbers of engineers, technical staff, and customer support teams)
  • The past experience of the company and its senior leadership in developing aircraft
  • The caliber and past experience of key program partners
  • Whether key aircraft systems have been selected and are available for use
  • Whether the preliminary design review has been completed
  • Whether the design for the full-scale prototype has been completed
  • Whether the type certification process has been formally initiated with an appropriate regulator
  • Whether the company has achieved a first flight with a full-scale prototype
  • The number of hours logged in a flight test program
  • Whether type certification has been achieved
  • The number of orders and commitment received for the aircraft
  • Whether the company has adequate facilities to begin series production of the aircraft
Our Methodology

As of January 2022, ePlane had raised just under $6 million through a couple of seed funding rounds since its foundation in 2019. Even taking account of India's lower cost structures, this is likely well short of what will be required to progress to type certification and production, but evidently, it will be sufficient to start flight testing to allow design work to be completed. The engineering team is still considering different propulsion architecture options but ducted fans seem likely to feature in the e200.

ePlane Models

ePlane e200 Specifications

local vtol Lift + Cruise

Performance

  • Passenger Capacity
    2
  • Range
    124 mi
  • Cruise Speed
    n/a
  • Powerplant Type
    ducted fan
  • Power Source
    electric
  • Endurance
    n/a
  • Max Altitude
    n/a
  • Takeoff Distance
    n/a
  • Landing Distance
    n/a
  • Empty Weight
    n/a
  • MGTOW
    n/a
  • Payload Weight
    441 lb

Dimensions

  • Length
    n/a
  • Width
    n/a
  • Height
    n/a
  • Wingspan
    n/a

According to ePlane, the e200 model will be used by self-piloted high-net-worth individuals and air taxi operators. The company estimates that its batteries will support 10 short flights of up to around 10 miles each on a single charge. Plans also call for smaller e50 and e6 models that could be used for cargo applications. The design features four apparently-tilting ducted fans installed in the lower fuselage for lift and two more pairs of ducted fans for cruise flight fitted in the main wing and in a canard.

Investors

Total Amount Invested: $5m

Key Personnel

Satyanarayanan Chakravarthy is co-founder of ePlane.
Satyanarayanan Chakravarthy

Founder

Pranjal Mehta
Pranjal Mehta

Chief Executive Officer (CEO)