EHang this week launched footage of the newest check flights of its EHang 184 private Autonomous Aerial Car.
The EHang 184 can transport a single individual at as much as 130kph in Pressure 7 hurricane circumstances, the corporate mentioned.
EHang plans to additional enhance the passenger expertise and add an non-compulsory guide management so passengers with piloting expertise can function the AAV manually.
It additionally has developed and examined a two-seater craft that may carry as much as 280kg.
In 2017, EHang was granted AS9100C certification. AS9100 is a broadly adopted standardized aerospace business high quality administration system.
EHang first unveiled the 184 at CES 2015.
The EHang 184’s Specs
EHang earlier this yr introduced the next specs for the 184:
Automated flight, by a C&C Heart; A number of backups for all flight programs, which might take over seamlessly within the occasion of failure; A fail-safe system that robotically would consider the injury if any elements have been to malfunction or if there have been injury in-flight, and decide whether or not the AAV ought to land to make sure passenger security; A number of units of sensors for the flight management programs to offer a relentless stream of actual time information; A number of unbiased flight management programs that robotically would plot the quickest and most secure route; Encrypted communications programs; Vertical takeoff and touchdown; Foldable design, making the AAV is not any bigger than a shopper automotive; 100 p.c battery operated; Pill console for passengers to enter instructions; Constructed-in air conditioner; LTE community; Weight — 260kg; Flight pace — 100kph; Cruising altitude — 500m; Cruising length above sea stage — 25 minutes; Battery charging time — 1 hour; and Rated payload — 100kg
The EHang 184 has eight propellers on 4 arms, with every arm having one prop above and one under.
“The facility wanted to elevate and maintain a car within the air massively reduces [a drone’s] efficient flying distance,” famous Rob Enderle, principal analyst on the Enderle Group.
“Till this energy drawback is addressed, flying drones will likely be extra of a know-how showcase than efficient transportation,” he informed TechNewsWorld.
Nevertheless, “it’s going to ultimately be addressed,” he mentioned, and “the economics of flight will power a fairly fast change.”
Some drone makers are experimenting with hybrids working on each electrical energy and gasoline or diesel.
There are different points with battery-powered flight, although, equivalent to the opportunity of a catastrophic battery failure, mentioned Michael Jude, analysis supervisor at Stratecast/Frost & Sullivan.
Extremely popular or burning autos falling out of the sky might trigger loads of injury, he informed TechNewsWorld.
Issues With Props
The EHang 184 appears to be like like an enormous drone with 4 propellers — and that itself is problematic.
“No aviation authority goes to approve using a drone taxi that has 4 spinning propellers at waist top when it lands,” mentioned Michael Blades, analysis director for aerospace and protection at Frost & Sullivan.
“At a minimal, these props would have to be shielded by some kind of duct,” he informed TechNewsWorld.
Maybe that is why Dubai — which had run checks with the EHang 184 and reportedly deliberate to launch a flying taxi fleet utilizing it final summer time — later within the yr started testing the Volocopter drone.
The Volocopter has 18 props on a hoop located above the cabin.
“Should you have a look at the Volocopter design, all of the lifting props are overhead like a traditional helicopter,” Blades remarked. “Successful designs will maximize security to passengers as they embark and disembark.”
The Future for Flying Taxis
A number of different corporations, together with Uber, Boeing, Airbus, and Joby Aviation, have been creating drones to be used as flying taxis.
“The know-how will seemingly achieve widespread adoption some day, however not as quickly because the hypesters would need you to imagine,” Blades remarked.
“Very wealthy, creating nations just like the UAE would deploy one thing like this primary,” Jude steered. It could seemingly “stay a distinct segment service, probably for transport to and from airports, or for emergency response.”