EHang's EH216-S passenger-carrying unmanned aerial vehicle has received type certificate in China, the first case in the world, according to the company.

(Image credit: EHang)

Chinese electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) developer EHang has received a commercial operation qualification for its EH216-S passenger-carrying unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), marking a milestone in the company's development as well as a breakthrough in China's policy in the area.

The EH216-S has obtained the type certificate officially issued by the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC), EHang said in an announcement today.

This demonstrates that the UAV's model design fully complies with the CAAC's safety standards and airworthiness requirements, qualifying it for conducting passenger-carrying UAV commercial operations, the company said.

As the world's first eVTOL type certificate, the EH216-S not only sets a benchmark for innovative eVTOL airworthiness certification at home and abroad, but also serves as an epoch-making milestone for commercial urban air mobility operations, it said.

This is more than 1,000 days past January 2021 when the CAAC formally accepted EHang EH216-S's application for a type certificate, the company noted.

During the validation process, the EH216-S underwent extensive laboratory, ground and flight tests at specialized aerospace laboratories and test ranges at multiple locations in China.

These tests included main material performance, structural strength, crashworthiness, software simulation, ground control stations, flight performance and flight stability characteristics, according to the company.

The safety, airworthiness, performance, functionality, usability and reliability of the EH216-S have been tested through more than 500 specific test programs, more than 40,000 test flights for adjustments, and formal conformity validation tests covering more than 450 items in 65 major categories, EHang said.

The CAAC's experience and expertise in EH216-S airworthiness certification provides an important reference for the global aviation industry, it said.

The price of EHang's US-traded shares jumped in pre-market trading following the announcement, rising nearly 130 percent to $38.868 at one point. At press time, that gain had retreated to 50.88 percent at $25.80.

EHang filed an application for a type certificate for the EH216-S with the CAAC on December 28, 2020, which was reviewed beginning in January 2021.

In February 2022, the EH216-S was granted "special conditions", which provide the basis for its compliance and safety, and signals the final stage of the company's airworthiness validation.

The EHang EH216-S is powered by batteries that provide the energy needed to fly and has a maximum takeoff weight of 650 kilograms.

It has a maximum flight speed of 130 kilometers per hour and a maximum endurance of 25 minutes, according to information previously announced by the company.

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