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EHang 216 “Makes first fully autonomous eVTOL flight in Japan” – news reports

According to the Nikkei news agency: “On the morning of the 17th (February 2023) in Oita City, a two-seater “flying car” succeeded in a test flight. This is the first full autonomous manned flight in Japan that has received permission from the Minister of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism, according to the reports. “It rose to about 30 meters above the ground and automatically flew about 400 meters in 3 minutes and 31 seconds with the final measurement value.”

The EHang 216 was reportedly flown in Kurashiki City, Okayama Prefecture by the Mask transport company, which has been conducting uncrewed flight tests since 2021. Director Koji Kirino, who was on board, said, “When I hovered, I felt a slight vibration, but it was a pleasant sensation as I was floating gently. It was a perfect success.”

“Mask was formed in 2017 by business owners in Kurashiki such as Setouchi Engineering and Sanwa Kogyo, and has built up a track record in remote island logistics and plant inspections using drones (small unmanned aerial vehicles),” continues the news report. “The aim is to concentrate the aerospace industry in Okayama and establish a transportation and logistics infrastructure for transporting people and goods to remote islands and hilly and mountainous areas in the Seto Inland Sea.”

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