Following teaser footage of its “Prosperity I” eVTOL shared in January, AutoFlight has released a five minute video showing much more of its all-electric air-taxi in action. The newly released video features the eVTOL completing a vertical takeoff, transitioning to rear propulsion, and gliding forward before switching back to its top propellers and landing vertically.
AutoFlight began as an R&D specialist focused on autonomous flight and eVTOL (electric vertical takeoff and landing) technology based in Shanghai. That being said, the company has transcended R&D, and now manufactures actual aircrafts as well. So far, the company has successfully launched three eVTOL vehicles, one of which has reached mass production – the V50 White Shark UAV (Unmanned Aerial Vehicle).
The Prosperity I is a proof-of-concept air taxi designed from AutoFlight’s V1500M eVTOL, which completed its maiden voyage in China last October. As AutoFlight’s eVTOL begins to takeoff in China, the company is simultaneously working toward certification in Europe. In early January, we shared news that the company had begun setting up manufacturing and testing in Germany.
In late January, AutoFlight shared footage of the Prosperity I eVTOL transitioning its propulsion in mid air, but we were only given a brief glimpse and could hardly gather how genuine the eVTOL’s mobility truly is. AutoFlight has now shared more extensive takeoff and landing footage to the public.
AutoFlight shows its eVTOL air taxi during takeoff and flight
The latest video footage was posted to YouTube this morning alongside a coinciding press release from AutoFlight that shared a lot of the same details from the initial teaser announcement. Prosperity I’s unmanned flight took place at AutoFlight’s test area in the JianSu province of China. The eVTOL rose to an altitude of 150 meters and reached speeds as high as 123 mph.
This vertical takeoff required eight rotors to lift the 3,307 pound eVTOL. Following an airspeed of 100–110mph, the fixed wing of Prosperity I generated lift, entering the “transition phase.” During this complex phase, the rotors on top of the eVTOL halted and locked in a position ideal for cruising. The rear propellers then took over, pushing the electric aircraft forward, similar to a fixed-wing plane.
According to the AutoFlight team, this transition phase is one of the key hurdles to overcome in its eVTOL’s development. Company CEO Tian Yu spoke to the achievement:
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 we are delighted to see that the transition was smooth, safe and seamless.
AutoFlight will continue to develop its proof-of-concept Prosperity I as it works toward certification for passenger flights in China. The company expects to begin manned flights in Europe in 2025. You can check out the full five-minute flight video below:
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