Advanced Air Mobility News

Aerofugia Takes Solid Step in eVTOL Certification, Eyes 2028 Service

Aerofugia Takes Solid Step in eVTOL Certification, Eyes 2028 Service

Aerofugia, a subsidiary of Chinese automaker Geely, describes the recent progress being made on type certification as a “solid step” for the company, saying that its eVTOL aircraft must meet safety and capability standards to get approval from the authorities.

“Our product prototype should not only be able to fly safely, but also demonstrate its performance in every aspect,” Tu Qiang, Product Director, Aerofugia, told Asian Sky Group, adding that the company is targeting eVTOL commercialization within the next five years starting from the tourism sector.

On April 6, the Chengdu-based eVTOL manufacturer formed the Type Certification Board (TCB) and signed the Project Specific Certification Plan (PSCP) with the regional aviation bureau under the Civil Aviation Administration Of China (CAAC).

Tu said the first board meeting held in Chengdu, Southwest China in April is a “solid step” for the Technology Readiness Level 6 (TRL6) certification of the AE200 air taxi – China’s biggest eVTOL aircraft in terms of takeoff weight, according to the company.

TRL6 means that eVTOL aircraft have completed a successful demonstration of the technology in a simulated or real-world environment. According to Tu, all the design work will be carried out following the guidance and supervision of the authority and a specific certification plan.

Tu stressed the unique selling points of the AE200 with its tiltrotor configuration and Distributed Electric Propulsion (DEP) system. The tiltrotor design allows the aircraft to switch between the helicopter and fixed-wing plane configurations, while the DEP ensures safety, greater design flexibility, and efficiency in eVTOLs using multiple electric motors and propellers distributed across the aircraft.

Talking about the certification and commercialization plan, Tu said the company expects to obtain design and production approval within three to five years, before carrying out more flight testing under real-life scenarios.

The AE200 is a five-seat eVTOL air taxi prototype powered by eight propellers, eight electric motors, and electric batteries. The prototype completed a successful test flight in China in February. Aerofugia became the latest to join SMG Consulting’s Advanced Air Mobility (AAM) Reality Index as one of the most likely to bring AAM into reality.

“Aerofugia joins fellow domestic companies EHang and AutoFlight as the third Chinese OEM in the ARI (AAM Reality Index) and the first one widely supported by an automotive manufacturer, Geely,” Sergio Cecutta, founder and partner, SMG Consulting said.

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