Chinese eVTOL aircraft manufacturer EHang this week confirmed it has been operating its new production facility in Yunfu since the end of June. The company is manufacturing its two-seat, fully autonomous EH216 model at the facility but has not confirmed the current production rate.
EHang is seeking type certification for the all-electric vehicle from the Civil Aviation Administration of China and has previously indicated that this may be granted by 2022. The 24,000-sq-m (258,000- sq-ft) site at Yunfu in Guangdong province includes components manufacturing and aircraft assembly capability, as well as a research and development facility and a training center.
On August 18, the company will host an investors day event, offering institutional and private investors a chance to tour the facility. In December 2019, EHang launched an initial public offering on New York’s Nasdaq market. On July 26, its stock closed at $25.77, which is markedly down from a peak of around $124 in mid-February.
CAAC has given EHang significant latitude to operate early examples of the EH216 on a trial basis for a variety of applications, such as Covid containment operations. It has also conducted flight demonstrations at multiple Chinese sites, as well as in Japan and South Korea.
Earlier this month, the China National Firefighting Equipment Quality Supervision Testing Center completed an evaluation of the EH216F version of the aircraft, which has been adapted for firefighting. Over 10 months, the government agency conducted 52 tests, including low- and high-altitude flights, and performance in high and low temperatures, as well as smoke. Officials concluded that the vehicle meets the standards required for unmanned air vehicle operations in fighting fires.
EHang is also developing a larger member of its Autonomous Aerial Vehicle family. The VT-30 lift-plus-cruise model features a fixed-wing and is expected to deliver a significantly longer range than the EH216 multicopter. The company has revealed almost no details about the new model but reportedly has begun initial flight testing.