EHang’s EH216-S passenger-carrying eVTOL aircraft has obtained a Type Certificate from the Civil Aviation Administration of China.
The certificate demonstrates that the EH216-S fully complies with the Chinese regulator’s safety standards and airworthiness requirements and that it can start commercial passenger operations.
The Type Certificate is the first awarded in the world, according to EHang and was presented at a ceremony in Beijing on October 13.
Ehang’s EH216 has been designed for intra-city urban air mobility and has 16 propellers in a coaxial double-baled design. It can carry two passengers a maximum range of 18 miles (30km) and has a maximum speed of 80mph (130km/h) . The EH216 is the successor to Ehang’s 184 eVTOL, which was used for earlier testing and demonstrations.
The certification process started at Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) in January 2021 and EHang engineers have worked closely with the regulator to validate and verify the EH216-S aircraft. CAAC published Special Conditions for the EH216-S UAV System (the “Special Conditions”) in February 2022.
“For the EH216-S type certification, CAAC and EHang upheld conventional century-old aviation principles alongside an innovation-centric approach, which involved formulating specific certification basis and means of compliance tailored to the EH216-S’s distinctive technical features, to conduct the type certification work,” said EHang.
Safety, airworthiness, performance, functionality, usability and reliability of the EH216-S have been validated through over 500 specific test items, more than 40,000 test flights for adjustments, and formal conformity validation tests encompassing 65 major categories and over 450 individual test items.
During the validation process, the EH216-S underwent laboratory, ground, and flight tests at test sites across across China. These tests included but were not limited to: main material performance, structural strength, flame resistance, crashworthiness, gas toxicity, equipment and systems environmental conditions, software simulation, data links, ground control stations, overall system functionality, electromagnetic compatibility, flight performance and flight stability characteristics.
The validation process scrutinized components, equipment, and the entire aircraft for prefabricated defects, faults and interferences during both laboratory experiments and flight trials, added EHang.
Huazhi Hu, founder, chairman and CEO of EHang said, “Our self-developed EH216-S passenger-carrying UAV system has finally met high expectations to secure the first Type Certificate in the global eVTOL industry, marking a significant chapter in civil aviation history.
“Embracing the Type Certificate as our springboard, we will launch commercial operations of the EH216-S unmanned eVTOLs, prioritizing safety above all. This will enable us to steadily progress towards our strategic goal to be a UAM platform operator, and commit to our mission to enable safe, autonomous, and eco-friendly air mobility accessible to everyone.”