The Chinese air mobility company has completed maiden flights of its two-seater passenger-grade AAV, EHang 216 aircraft in three Korean locations – Seoul, Daegu, and Jeju Island. During the flight tour, EHang brought the world’s leading UAM solution to Korea, including passenger transportation, emergency medical service, and aerial sightseeing. This flight tour signifies the starting point to explore the UAM market in Korea. South Korean authorities plan to launch city air routes over the next five years.
Air taxi tests in South Korea were carried out by a Chinese startup after receiving an airworthiness certificate from the local government last summer. The very fact that EHang issued this permit is convincing proof that the PRC company has made significant progress in the development of flying taxis. Aircraft are suitable for testing in urban environments.
In Seoul, EHang 216 took off from Yeouido Island over a downtown area to have an autonomous flight over a densely populated area. The second flight was done in Suseong District, Daegu City, to deliver a package containing a 119 fire emergency kit and AED materials. The last flight was done in Jeju Island, where EHang 216 flew over the coastline to demonstrate the real use case of aerial sightseeing. EHang expects that the test air taxi flights in Seoul will be the starting point for cooperation with the Korean business.
As we all know about EHang 216 flying car, it is capable of carrying two passengers and is driven by eight electric motors. It can be converted into flying cargo containers or platforms armed with fire extinguishing equipment. With a weight of 340 kg, the device is capable of lifting 260 kg of payload into the air. The declared maximum speed is 130 km/h (80 mph), cruising speed is around the 100 km/h (62 mph) mark, and has a per charge flight time of 21 minutes.
Seoul, Daegu, and Jeju Island were all selected as the pilot site of the “Korean Urban Air Mobility (K-UAM) Roadmap.” The project was announced by the MOLIT (“Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, and Transport”) in June 2020, with the aim to commercialize UAM services by 2023-2025.