All eyes on EHang - Revolution.Aero news #46

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Whilst EHang has been quiet this year, it still has one of the most recognisable eVTOLs out there.

Announcement videos of eVTOLs on YouTube can garner close to a million views, with Uber’s demo for the Uber Air service being viewed an impressive 2.6 million times. But a short YouTube video of the EHang 184 flying employees and Chinese politicians has been watched almost 10 million times.

This is not the only example either, a demonstration video of the EHang 184 translated in both English and Arabic has been viewed 9.2 million times.

Whilst Uber, Airbus and the Larry Page-backed eVTOL manufacturers might be some of the biggest names within the industry, the customer base for air taxis are the general public and, judging from the results of the second largest search engine in the world (YouTube), EHang seems to be the most well-known.

This makes the company’s most recent announcement that it has selected Guangzhou as the pilot city for its urban air mobility testing even more important. This will see EHang work together with the city to establish a low-altitude transport network for both passengers and cargo across the city. However, there has been no date set for when the tests will begin.

As we mentioned in last week’s newsletter, EHang was also the sole passenger eVTOL company to be selected by the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) to help develop airworthiness and certification standards for UAVs in China.

So far, the company has taken more than 2,000 test flights both in and outside of China, including public demo flights in Vienna in April where it flew 17 passengers in the 184 back-to-back.

Other manufacturers in the eVTOL space are purpose building aircraft for specific missions, whether it be on-demand city transport such as the Uber partners, autonomous Medevac with Cormorant or personal flight like the Kitty Hawk Flyer, EHang has built the aircraft first and is figuring out the mission it is most suited for in its test-flight campaign.

Revolution.Aero spoke to Yifang “Derrick” Xiong, the CEO of EHang last year, shortly after it completed its first round of manned test flights around an abandoned Guangzhou theme park. He told us to expect more regular public flight demos across the world over the next few years:

“We are going to figure out what operations the EHang VTOL will perform best on, where will be the best opportunity to monetise and where we can make a more-commercial operation,” Mr Xiong told Revolution.Aero.