EHang has announced its flagship passenger-grade 216 AAV and Falcon logistics model have completed Beyond Visual Line of Sight (BVLOS) trial flights for airport transport and parcel delivery in Estonia, under the European Union’s GOF 2.0 Integrated Urban Airspace Validation (“GOF 2.0”) project.

The flights were aimed to demonstrate safe, autonomous and eco-friendly urban air mobility and the integration of unmanned aerial vehicles and air taxis into manned operations with air traffic management and U-space services. It follows the the Estonian Transport Administration issuing a Special Permit to EHang for trial flights in designated airspace in the country until the end of 2021. 

During the live trials, the EHang 216 performed a flight mission of passenger VIP transport scenario from the Tartu Airport to the Estonian Aviation Museum, no passenger onboard, to demonstrate the uses cases and scenarios of eVTOL (electric vertical take-off and landing) intra-urban and peri-urban flights.

These trial flights are among the first wave of trials in the two-year GOF 2.0 project, with the focus of entry to and exit from defined airspaces. The trials demonstrate how manned and unmanned aviation can enter and leave various types of airspace, such as controlled/uncontrolled airspace and U-space airspace. 

Moreover, the EHang Falcon logistics model completed a flight mission of parcel delivery from the Tartu Airport to a cargo terminal at the Estonian Aviation Museum, to demonstrate the uses cases and scenarios of automated parcel delivery drones operating at low level. 

To date, EHang has conducted multiple trial and demo flights of its passenger-grade AAVs in 10 countries across Asia, Europe, and North America.

The company plan to continue further involvements in GOF 2.0 and conduct more trial flights in Europe to demonstrate the validity, safety, security and sustainability of unmanned aerial systems and manned operations in a unified, dense urban airspace using existing ATM and U-space services and systems.

The GOF 2.0 Integrated Urban Airspace VLD (GOF 2.0) will safely, securely, and sustainably demonstrate operational validity of serving combined UAS, eVTOL and manned operations in a unified, dense urban airspace using current ATM and U-space services and systems.

The demonstrations focus on validation of GOF 2.0 architecture for highly automated real-time separation assurance in dense air space including precision weather and telecom networks for air-ground communication. It will also significantly contribute to understanding how the safe integration of UAM and other commercial drone operations into ATM Airspace, without degrading safety, security or disrupting current airspace operations, can be implemented.

The GOF 2.0 project is one of several projects managed by the SESAR Joint Undertaking that are dedicated to U-space, the European Commission’s initiative for the safe and secure integration of drones into the airspace.