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Business Air News Bulletin
Business Air News Bulletin
The monthly news publication for aviation professionals.

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AutoFlight delivers first electric air taxi to Japan
An AAM operator has taken delivery of Autoflight's first Prosperity eVTOL that it is planning to showcase at the 2025 Osaka World Expo. The OEM has also just received CAAC type certification for its cargo variant.
Following the delivery ceremony, AutoFlight will begin to ship its electric Prosperity eVTOL aircraft to global markets.
Read this story in our May 2024 printed issue.

AutoFlight has officially delivered its first Prosperity aircraft to a customer in Japan, marking the world's inaugural delivery of a civilian ton-class eVTOL aircraft.

The advanced air mobility operator, to be identified in due course, is currently developing plans for demonstration eVTOL flights at the 2025 Osaka World Expo, as well as a wider AAM rollout across the country.

Founder and chairman Tian Yu says: "The official delivery of the first Prosperity to a customer signifies a new chapter for AutoFlight as we begin to ship our innovative electric aircraft to global markets. Additionally, on the cargo side, the receipt of orders for over 200 CarryAlls already demonstrates a very strong market demand for our products."

AutoFlight's cargo variant CarryAll aircraft obtained type certification from the CAA of China on 22 March, 2024; the first eVTOL aircraft above one ton to have been awarded type certification. Recent CarryAll orders include 30 units for logistics company ZTO Express, a NYSE and HKEX dual-listed company.

Referring to the CarryAll, Tian continues: "Successfully completing this certification was a lengthy and extremely rigorous process and I would like to thank the review team and all my colleagues for their painstaking efforts. This achievement establishes a robust foundation for AutoFlight's forthcoming large-scale commercial operations."

Securing TC airworthiness certification is vital for ensuring the safety and market entry of the aircraft for commercial operations. The CarryAll, with a maximum take off weight of two tons, operates autonomously and on electric power. Its compliance verification encompassed various aspects, including performance control, stability, lift/thrust system, structural strength/composite blades, battery system, avionics system, electrical system and flight performance. The thorough review process involved manufacturing compliance inspections and the witnessing of 46 major compliance verification tests at the equipment level, system level and structural component level. Additionally, the CarryAll airworthiness certification prototype completed eight major compliance tests, including plateau performance, data link and ground station functions, involving 156 flights and exceeding a total flight distance of 10,000kms.

In February, AutoFlight carried out an intercity electric air taxi demonstration flight between the southern Chinese cities of Shenzhen and Zhuhai. The Prosperity aircraft flew autonomously over the 50km route from Shenzhen to Zhuhai across the Pearl River Delta in just 20 minutes, a journey that would require three hours by car. This was the first public flight of an eVTOL aircraft on a cross-sea and intercity route.

The route between Shenzhen and Zhuhai is part of the future air traffic scenario planned by the regional government as it develops its 'low-altitude economy' strategy that will see the opening of thousands of vertiports and hundreds of eVTOL air routes across the Greater Bay Area in southern China. The demonstration flight took place in one of the world's most densely populated areas, home to circa 86 million people, and in an airspace that borders multiple international airports including Hong Kong, Shenzhen and Macau. The flight showcased AutoFlight's cutting-edge aviation technology in a highly complex environment and its dedication to safety and regulatory compliance in pushing the boundaries of urban air mobility.

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