EHang Shows Off Passenger Drone’s Flight Successes | Transportation

EHang this week launched footage of the newest take a look at flights of its EHang 184 private Autonomous Aerial Vehicle.

The EHang 184 can transport a single individual at as much as 130kph in Force 7 storm circumstances, the company stated.

EHang plans to additional enhance the passenger expertise and add an non-compulsory guide management so passengers with piloting expertise can function the AAV manually.

It additionally has developed and examined a two-seater craft that may carry as much as 280kg.

In 2017, EHang was granted
AS9100C certification. AS9100 is a extensively adopted standardized aerospace trade high quality administration system.

EHang first unveiled the 184 at CES 2015.

The EHang 184’s Specs

EHang earlier this 12 months introduced the next specs for the 184:

  • Automated flight, by way of a C&C Center;
  • Multiple backups for all flight techniques, which might take over seamlessly within the event of failure;
  • A fail-safe system that robotically would consider the harm if any elements have been to malfunction or if there have been harm in-flight, and decide whether or not the AAV ought to land to make sure passenger security;
  • Multiple units of sensors for the flight management techniques to supply a continuing stream of actual time knowledge;
  • Multiple unbiased flight management techniques that robotically would plot the quickest and most secure route;
  • Encrypted communications techniques;
  • Vertical takeoff and touchdown;
  • Foldable design, making the AAV isn’t any bigger than a client automobile;
  • 100 p.c battery operated;
  • Tablet console for passengers to enter instructions;
  • Built-in air conditioner;
  • LTE community;
  • Weight — 260kg;
  • Flight pace — 100kph;
  • Cruising altitude — 500m;
  • Cruising length above sea stage — 25 minutes;
  • Battery charging time — 1 hour; and
  • Rated payload — 100kg

The EHang 184 has eight propellers on 4 arms, with every arm having one prop above and one under.

Battery Technology

“The power needed to lift and hold a vehicle in the air massively reduces [a drone’s] effective flying distance,” famous Rob Enderle, principal analyst on the Enderle Group.

“Until this power problem is addressed, flying drones will be more of a technology showcase than effective transportation,” he informed TechNewsWorld.

However, “it will eventually be addressed,” he stated, and “the economics of flight will force a reasonably rapid change.”

Some drone makers are experimenting with hybrids operating on each electrical energy and gasoline or diesel.

There are different points with battery-powered flight, although, comparable to the opportunity of a catastrophic battery failure, stated Michael Jude, analysis supervisor at Stratecast/Frost & Sullivan.

Very scorching or burning autos falling out of the sky may trigger loads of harm, he informed TechNewsWorld.

Problems With Props

The EHang 184 appears to be like like a large drone with 4 propellers — and that itself is problematic.

“No aviation authority is going to approve the use of a drone taxi that has four spinning propellers at waist height when it lands,” stated Michael Blades, analysis director for aerospace and protection at Frost & Sullivan.

“At a minimum, those props would need to be shielded by some sort of duct,” he informed TechNewsWorld.

Perhaps that is why Dubai — which had run checks with the EHang 184 and reportedly deliberate to launch a flying taxi fleet utilizing it final summer time — later within the 12 months started testing the
Volocopter drone.

The Volocopter has 18 props on a hoop located above the cabin.

“If you look at the Volocopter design, all the lifting props are overhead like a normal helicopter,” Blades remarked. “Winning designs will maximize safety to passengers as they embark and disembark.”

The Future for Flying Taxis

Several different firms, together with Uber, Boeing, Airbus, and Joby Aviation, have been creating drones to be used as flying taxis.

“The technology will likely gain widespread adoption some day, but not as soon as the hypesters would want you to believe,” Blades remarked.

“Very rich, developing nations like the UAE would deploy something like this first,” Jude advised. It would possible “remain a niche service, possibly for transport to and from airports, or for emergency response.”

Richard Adhikari has been an ECT News Network reporter since 2008. His areas of focus embody cybersecurity, cell applied sciences, CRM, databases, software program growth, mainframe and mid-range computing, and utility growth. He has written and edited for quite a few publications, together with Information Week and Computerworld. He is the writer of two books on shopper/server expertise.
Email Richard.

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