AutoFlight, a provider of eVTOL (electric Vertical Take Off and Landing) aircraft, has achieved the world’s longest eVTOL flight in history with distance of 250KM / 155 miles on a single charge of the aircraft’s lithium-ion batteries. The aircraft used in this record flight is the world’s first look at AutoFlight’s newest Generation 4 model.
The flight, which took place at AutoFlight’s eVTOL testing facility in Augsburg, Germany, on 23 February, consisted of 20 circuits on a predefined flight track, with the plane remotely piloted from the ground by AutoFlight’s Flight Test team. Interestingly, while AutoFlight’s Gen4 aircraft is fitted with the latest in avionics, the aircraft also ran third-party avionics to record and verify the distance flown on ForeFlight, an independent system widely used in the aviation sector.
The flight is recognized as the longest fully electric aircraft flight in history, where the aircraft both takes off and lands vertically. This long-range test flight is a key milestone in the development of the Prosperity I aircraft, as it undergoes continued testing towards the company’s goal of airworthiness certification in 2025 with EASA.
AutoFlight’s president Omer Bar-Yohay commented, “This flight is both a great celebratory milestone, and a testament to the team's incredible effort and progress in testing and incrementally pushing the aircraft's performance envelope. It's a remarkable achievement that shows our aircraft's capability, and we are excited to continue working towards our next goals all the way to EASA certification in 2025.”
The Generation 4 model was penned by designer Frank Stephenson. His vehicle design portfolio includes iconic successes from brands including Ferrari, Maserati, McLaren, MINI and now AutoFlight. AutoFlight’s Prosperity aircraft uses rotors to lift the aircraft vertically for takeoff, then transitions to horizontal flight on the wing (like a traditional airplane). The aircraft is capable of speeds in excess of 200KMH, over a range greater than 250KM. AutoFlight is one of only a few eVTOL OEMs, it says, to have mastered the challenging ‘transition phase’ from vertical to horizontal flight and have done so hundreds of times, clocking thousands of flight miles on multiple iterations of their aircraft.