VIDEO: Autoflight eVTOL aircraft transitions during flight test

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eVTOL aircraft developer Autoflight has released video footage of its Prosperity aircraft transitioning from vertical to horizontal flight during a test flight.

During the unmanned test flight, which took place last month in in JiangSu province, China last month the aircraft reached an altitude of 490ft and 123 mph (198km/h).

Autoflight’s Prosperity I is a four-seat eVTOL with a range of 250km (155 miles) that is being developed in China and Germany. The aircraft made its first flight in October last year.

Autoflight was founded in 2017 by its CEO Tian Yu after and the company is also developing a range of unmanned cargo-carrying drones. Last month it relaunched its testing and certification operations in Germany with plans to certify Prosperity for manned flight in Europe by 2025.

Prosperity I uses eight rotors to lift the 3,307 lbs (1,500kg) into the air and once it reached an altitude of 490ft and an airspeed of 100-110mph the fixed wing part of the eVTOL generated lift.

At this point, the rotors on the aircraft stop spinning and are locked in a streamlined position, while the propellers on the rear push the aircraft forward like a traditional fixed wing plane.

Tian Yu said, “The team and I are thrilled to have cracked the smooth transition phase of eVTOL flight, unlocking the skies for Prosperity I and our commercial products. We are confident we have a good design underpinned by sound engineering, and delighted to see that the transition was smooth, safe and seamless.”

Mark Henning, managing director of AutoFlight Europe said, “Achieving a smooth transition phase in record time, from prototype to flight, underlines the calibre of the engineering team we have at AutoFlight and gives great confidence as we progress into the development phase and layout plans for our first manned aircraft, the Prosperity I.

“The simplicity of AutoFlight’s design lies in our patented ‘Lift and Cruise’ configuration, which combines superior range and safety with low technical complexity, making it affordable to manufacture, maintain and operate as an air taxi.”

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Ben has worked as a journalist and editor, covering technology, engineering and industry for the last 20 years. Initially writing about subjects from nuclear submarines to autonomous cars to future design and manufacturing technologies, he was editor of a leading UK-based engineering magazine before becoming editor of Aerospace Testing in 2017.

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