The Chinese manufacturer Ehang has received an operating license from the Norwegian civil aviation authority for its electrically powered two-seat passenger drone Ehang 216. The company has also signed a cooperation agreement with the city of Seville.
According to Ehang, the permit issued by the civil aviation authority is the first operational flight permit for test flights with the Ehang 216 model in Europe.
The trial will be based at Elvenes Airport in the northeastern corner of Norway on the border with Russia. The aim is to " conduct flights together with a local customer for the purpose of testing and certification". The area is mainly unpopulated and is therefore well suited to the project, according to the approval authority.
Ehang will use the project to collect real-time data on the flight behaviour of the model. The Ehang 216 is a two-seater with 16 electric motors and propellers, an empty weight of 360 kg and a payload of 260 kg. The range should be 35 km, the top speed 130 km / h.
The passenger drone is to be used as a test, among other things, in the delivery service and in the inspection of wind turbines.
“In the new wave of the development of the oil industry in Norway, EHang expects to empower the O&G industry with our AAV technologies to reduce costs and increase efficiencies, and promote the use of green energy. In the past two years, we have established strategic partnerships with valuable European partners such as Vodafone, FACC and the ProSiebenSat.1 Group. We expect to work with more strategic partners and help them with our safe, autonomous, and eco-friendly air mobility solutions”, said Hu Huazhi, Founder, Chairman and CEO of EHang.
The Chinese company has also signed a cooperation agreement with the city of Seville. The focus of the partnership is a pilot project for urban air mobility - including the transportation of passengers. With this in mind, the city has agreed to cooperate in the application for permits for test flights in accordance with Spanish and European legislation.
Seville Mayor Juan Espadas Cejas commented, “Establishing the partnership with EHang, one of the world's leading UAM enterprises, is a great opportunity for Seville. Our city has a rich legacy in European aviation, which we believe can promote EHang’s AAV tests, operations, and permitting applications both in Spain and Europe. We look forward to EHang’s first flight in Seville and hope our cooperation will facilitate the commercialization of its UAM ecosystem in Europe.”
Ehang has been listed on the Nasdaq since the end of 2019. In early 2020, it also received its first special flight permit from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and then completed its first test flight with the Ehang 216 on American soil. In the past two years, Ehang says it has built up strategic partnerships with a number of European partners - including DHL, Vodafone, FACC and with the ProSiebenSat.1 Media.