AutoFlight completes first electric eVTOL inter-city flight


eVTOL developer AutoFlight demonstrated the capabilities of its Prosperity aircraft on February 27, 2024, with the completion of a 50-kilometer (31-mile) demonstration flight between Shenzhen and Zhuhai. The company claims it is the world’s first electric inter-city flight with an aircraft of this type. 

Zhuhai and Shenzhen are located on opposite sides of the Pearl River Delta in China. While driving between the two cities would have involved a three-hour journey, AutoFlight’s Prosperity eVTOL managed to link the two urban centers in about 20 minutes and fully autonomously. 

The location of this demonstration flight is not coincidental. AutoFlight and its partner Heli-Eastern, which has 100 Prosperity aircraft on order, see an enormous potential for the development of advanced air mobility (AAM) services in this part of China.  

In addition to being home to nearly 100 million people and one of the country’s major economic hubs, local authorities in the Pearl River Delta area have been actively promoting the development of an eVTOL ecosystem. Their goal is to become one of the first areas of the world to see the roll out of advanced air mobility services. 

AutoFlight, which is headquartered in China and has a presence in Germany and the United States, made headlines in 2023 when it set a record for the longest electric eVTOL flight flown on a single battery charge (250.3 kilometers or 155 miles). The firm expects its five-seater Prosperity to gain certification for crewed flights by 2025. 

AeroTime had the chance to speak with AutoFlight’s Head of Design, Frank Stephenson, during the 2023 Paris Air Show and see a full-size mock-up of the Prosperity eVTOL from close up.  

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