AutoFlight has joined a select club of eVTOL companies that have managed a successful transition flight with an aircraft capable of carrying four people.
The company’s Prosperity I completed its transition flight – where the craft goes from vertical to horizontal flight – back in January but the company held off on the announcement until now.
The transition flight, which might sound simple, is one of the most difficult parts of eVTOL flying as aircraft lose momentum and need to start moving in a different direction from a standing start.
The unmanned flight took place at Autoflight flight test area in JiangSu province, China with CEO Tian Yu, the R&D team and 40 AutoFlight staff present. The Prosperity I rose to an altitude of just under 500 feet and flew at up to 123 mph.
“Achieving a smooth transition phase in record time, from prototype to flight, underlines the calibre of the engineering team we have at AutoFlight and gives great confidence as we progress into the development phase and layout plans for our first manned aircraft, the Prosperity I,” said Mark Henning, Managing Director of AutoFlight Europe.
“The simplicity of AutoFlight’s design lies in our patented ‘Lift and Cruise’ configuration, which combines superior range and safety with low technical complexity, making it affordable to manufacture, maintain and operate as an air taxi.”
The Prosperity I is designed for short transfer flights between city centres and airports, countryside, or other nearby cities. AutoFlight is hoping to have its craft ready for commercial flight in 2025. The company is also promising that its journeys will be as safe as using a car and no more expensive than a taxi ride.
“The team and I are thrilled to have cracked the smooth transition phase of eVTOL flight, unlocking the skies for Prosperity I and our commercial products. We are confident we have a good design underpinned by sound engineering and delighted to see that the transition was smooth, safe and seamless,” said AutoFlight CEO Tian Yu.