EHang commits to building air taxi terminal for China
Just last month, China's air mobility company EHang announced plans to fly into Europe and set up shop in Seville, Spain. Now the firm has partnered with the City of Hezhou in Guangxi Province, China, to build a tourism-focused terminal for its air taxis.
EHang isn't the only company trying to get air taxis to fly in cities around the world, and is not the first to build somewhere for them to operate from, but its so-called E-port could well be the first to go into operation – something that's scheduled to happen by the end of 2020.
The E-port terminal building will be three stories high and have a 2,500 sq m (almost 27,000 sq ft) footprint. There will be a reception hall on the first floor, a passenger waiting area on the second and departure/arrivals on the third. Four landing pads are to be located on the roof, though the plan does call for 20 EHang 216 two-seat autonomous aerial vehicles (AAV) to be in operation at the facility.
The EHang 216 electric air taxi sports eight arms around the passenger pod, each home to two rotors. It has a reported top speed of 130 km/h (80 mph), but will cruise at about 100 km/h – though flight time is currently just 21 minutes per charge so it's likely that only some of the fleet in Hezhou will be in the air at the same time, while others are on charge.
"Hezhou is a beautiful city with rich tourism resources and we are excited to enhance their appeal with our AAVs," said EHang founder, chairman and CEO, Hu Huazhi. "As we progress, we intend to create more commercial applications for EHang AAVs, such as aerial sightseeing that can uniquely merge modern culture and tourism. We also welcome more local partners to join us and embrace the opportunity to a provide safe, autonomous, and green approach to travel and sightseeing."
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I can see why they might be planning to promote tourism -- a 20-minute ride over local sights might be something people would pay for.
I always Smile when i see news like this, it shows progress and Ehang is part of the pioneers igniting this Revolution !
Battery tech will only get better from here so i would put that at a medium term concern, first get flying already.
Right now get the infrastructure in place, get the Copters to the Pads and start flying ! The more these multicopters get airtime the better and quicker things will escalate. It's advertisement for itself, and everyone would want it to succeed, the world has eyes and ears and people who will help take this forward, putting it into high gear.
Landing they will think of something, either elevated pods or cordoned off designated areas, plenty of options so and important, but not a big deal.
SO....When will the first one fly, i want to see this happen NOW, lets get them in the air !
Noise is not a concern at all.
Firstly, There are superbikes, supercars,harleys ratrods, tuk tuks... you name it screaming down 3 roads near to where i live EVERYDAY. Do people like it, probably not, do they tolerate it, Yes they have to because it's legal.
Is this consistent, pretty much yes.
secondly, full scale helicopters are louder, yes they indeed are !
Now i'm not saying these multicopters are quiet, they do make noise, but things that are already road legal make louder noise.
Furthermore the noise will come down anyway as they add more blades and create more acoustically tuned propellers. (Think Rah-66) quiet as a mouse ! Its a helicopter with big blades, but the principles of it's blades can be worked down to multicopter specifications.
So.... lets get this revolution started, it's right here in front of our eyes ready to explode into existence, we have made absolutely everything to make it work, no more excuses, Let's do it ! ! !