Sunday, 18 February 2018



EHang had released a video footage of the latest test flights of its EHang 184 personal Autonomous Aerial Vehicle.
The EHang 184 can transport an individual at about 130kph in Force 7 typhoon conditions, the company said.

EHang is still making plans to further improve the passenger experience and add an optional manual control so passengers with piloting experience and skill can operate the Autonomous Aerial Vehicle (AAV) manually.

EHang has also developed and tested a two-seater craft that can carry people with weight of about 280kg.

Earlier in 2017, EHang was granted AS9100C certification. AS9100 is a widely adopted standardized aerospace industry quality management system.

EHang first unveiled the 184 at CES 2015.



EHang earlier this year announced the following specs for the 184:
  • Automated flight, through a C&C Center;
  • Multiple backups for all flight systems, which would take over seamlessly in the event of failure;
  • A fail-safe system that automatically would evaluate the damage if any components were to malfunction or if there were damage in-flight, and determine whether the AAV should land to ensure passenger safety;
  • Multiple sets of sensors for the flight control systems to provide a constant stream of real time data;
  • Multiple independent flight control systems that automatically would plot the fastest and safest route;
  • Encrypted communications systems;
  • Vertical takeoff and landing;
  • Foldable design, making the AAV is no larger than a consumer car;
  • 100 percent battery operated;
  • Tablet console for passengers to input commands;
  • Built-in air conditioner;
  • LTE network;
  • Weight -- 260kg;
  • Flight speed -- 100kph;
  • Cruising altitude -- 500m;
  • Cruising duration above sea level -- 25 minutes;
  • Battery charging time -- 1 hour; and
  • Rated payload -- 100kg
  • The EHang 184 has eight propellers on four arms, with each arm having one prop above and one below.


About the battery technology in drones, Rob Enderle, a principal analyst at the Enderle Group stated that “The power needed to lift and hold a vehicle in the air massively reduces [a drone's] effective flying distance,".

"Until this power problem is addressed, flying drones will be more of a technology showcase than effective transportation," he told TechNewsWorld.

However, "it will eventually be addressed," he said, and "the economics of flight will force a reasonably rapid change."

Some drone makers are experimenting with hybrids running on both electricity and gasoline or diesel.

There are other issues with battery-powered flight, though, such as the possibility of a catastrophic battery failure, said Michael Jude, research manager at Stratecast/Frost & Sullivan.

Very hot or burning vehicles falling out of the sky could cause a lot of damage, he told TechNewsWorld.


A bulk of the problems/challenges faced by this ‘flying taxi’ seems to be coming from it’s propellers.

The EHang has 184 giant drone has four propellers which is quite problematic if you may ask me.

The research director for aerospace and defense at Frost & Sullivan Michael Blades stateted that no aviation authority will be willing to approve the use of a drone taxi that has four spinning propellers at waist height when it lands.

The reason he said this may not be far away from the issue of safety of the passengers.

"At a minimum, those props would need to be shielded by some sort of duct," he told TechNewsWorld.

Perhaps that's why Dubai -- which had run tests with the EHang 184 and reportedly planned to launch a flying taxi fleet using it last summer -- later in the year began testing the Volocopter drone.

The Volocopter has 18 props on a hoop situated above the cabin.

"If you look at the Volocopter design, all the lifting props are overhead like a normal helicopter," Blades remarked. "Winning designs will maximize safety to passengers as they embark and disembark."


Several other companies, including Uber, Boeing, Airbus, and Joby Aviation, have been developing drones for use as flying taxis.

"The technology will likely gain widespread adoption someday, but not as soon as the hypesters would want you to believe," Blades remarked.

"Very rich, developing nations like the UAE would deploy something like this first," Jude suggested. It would likely "remain a niche service, possibly for transport to and from airports, or for emergency response." 



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