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From Rumour to Fact: EHang’s BIG reveal – “welcome the long-range VT-30 AAV”

By Chris Stonor

EHang tweeted late last night (European time): “Today we revealed “VT-30”, the first in #EHang’s product suite that is designed for inter-city transporation. VT-30 will complement EH216 to further expand the air transportation network and improve the future #UAM ecosystem.” This was followed by a press release alongside various photos of the new craft.

The release says, “With a hybrid structure, VT-30 is designed to travel a distance of up to 300km with a designed flight time of up to 100 minutes and is designed as a safe, convenient, efficient, eco-friendly and intelligent air mobility solutions for inter-city travel.”

It goes on, “VT-30 has a streamlined fuselage with a combined lifting rudder surface at the tail. Equipped with eight propellers on both sides, it has a pair of fixed wings, and a propelling propeller at the rear, which are designed to achieve a maximum balance of hybrid lift and push. The distinctive design enables VT-30 to enjoy the advantage of both vertical and taxi take-off / landing modes, while satisfying the need for longer distance and flight time.”

And continues, “Unlike conventional fixed-wing aircrafts, it saves the runway for take-off and landing. Moreover, the tri-redundancy fly-by-wire control system can be flexibly altered into multiple modes, implying a much higher safety level for the aircraft.”

EHang then explains the VT-30 “is geared towards inter-city travels among city clusters (such as the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area, Yangtze River Delta, Bohai Rim, etc.), as it is able to carry two passengers from one city to another. VT-30 boasts the merits of eco-friendliness, zero emissions, and low noise, fully aligned with EHang’s principle of green travel.”

And points out, “Compared with conventional inter-city transportation modes, VT-30 is expected to provide more efficient, environmentally friendly and low-cost solutions to urban dwellers as well as expanding the capacity of existing UAM services.” It appears the new craft has conducted various tests including vertical take-off and landing and on the power systems.

A press release usually comes with a quote/s and this one doesn’t disappoint. Huazhi Hu, Founder and CEO of EHang, says, “Our passenger-grade AAV EH216 is already fully equipped to travel in the cities with its lightweighted and streamlined structure, and the launch of the VT-30 provides a powerful complement to the inter-city air traffic network by meeting needs for covering longer distance.”

The release concludes, “Moving forward, these two product series will be used as core development for a service-oriented operations strategy to improve the safety, duration and capacity for carrying both passengers and goods. We will work continuously to obtain regulatory certification for our various AAV products, including the VT-30, and provide a more convenient and efficient public urban air mobility operational services.”

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