Chinese aerial vehicle-maker EHang launched the maiden flight of its EHang 216 — the firm’s flagship self-flying people-mover — in South Korea on Wednesday.
The flight, logged as part of the “Open the Urban Sky” event in central Seoul, was approved by South Korea’s Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport after EHang obtained a Special Certificate of Airworthiness for the EHang 216, according to a company statement released on Thursday.
EHang said that the flight is in line with the goals of an industrial roadmap, which was announced by the South Korean government in June, and aims to commercialize urban flying people-movers by 2025.
“Urban air mobility services are drawing keen attentions as an option to alleviate ground traffic congestions with a huge potential for growth,” said Seo Jeong-hyup, Seoul’s acting mayor.
Nasdaq-listed EHang will also launch trial flights in other South Korean cities in the hope of testing the flying vehicles’ potential for passenger transport, aerial sightseeing, island hopping and aerial logistics, according to the statement.
The flight in Seoul comes four months after EHang gained a Canadian government permit to use the EHang 216 to conduct routine trial flights in Quebec. So far, the company has obtained test flight approvals from aviation authorities in countries including China, the U.S. and Norway.
In the second quarter of 2020, EHang posted a net loss of 19.7 million yuan ($2.8 million) on revenues of 35.7 million yuan, according to the company’s quarter earnings report. During the period, the Guangzhou-based company sold 16 EHang 216s, up from 14 units in the same period of last year, the financial report said.