EHang made the debut of its long-range dual-seat passenger-grade AAV VT-30 at the Jiuzhou Airport in Zhuhai, Guangdong Province, before the upcoming 13th China International Aviation and Aerospace Exhibition, also known as the Zhuhai Air Show.

The VT-30, was officially released this year in May, and is the first in EHang’s product suite that is designed for inter-city transportation. With a hybrid structure, VT-30 is designed to achieve a maximum balance of hybrid lift and push, which has the advantages of intelligent safety features, autonomous flying capabilities, cluster management, low noise and so on. The VT-30 is designed to carry two passengers, with a designed flight distance of 300km and a designed flight time of 100 minutes.

Edward Xu, Chief Strategy Officer of EHang said, “EHang will continue to innovate and improve the future Urban Air Mobility (“UAM”) ecosystem. The VT-30, which focuses on inter-city travel, will be a complement to the EHang 216, which focuses on intra-city air mobility, to bring safe, autonomous and eco-friendly air mobility for everyone.”

As a pioneer in the global UAM industry, EHang was granted two honors – the Guangdong Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (“UAV”) Industry Outstanding Contribution Award and the Guangdong UAV Social Responsibility Contribution Award – by the Guangdong General Aviation Association and the Guangdong UAV Industry Association at the 2021 2nd General Aviation Night event. These accolades reflect the industry’s recognition of EHang’s active innovation in the exploration and development of general aviation.

Why it’s important: EHang’s debut of the VT-30 reflects a larger momentum shift within the aerial mobility industry toward consideration of short to medium distance electric hybrid aircraft that are not solely designed for intracity application – since hybridized propulsion and flight control approaches are likely to be those that are deployed the soonest, the same approach toward use case – missions of 20-100 miles, for instance – has a reasonable chance of being the most lucrative offering for initial eVTOL deployment. While time will tell, an increasing number of aerial mobility companies are currently augmenting their offerings with slightly longer range autonomous air vehicles.