The Chinese eVTOL developer EHang has announced the launch of an aerial sightseeing service in Guangdong, China, in partnership with the real estate company Greenland Hong Kong Holdings Limited.
The trial program will be operated by EHang using its two-seat EH216 autonomous aerial vehicles (AAVs). It will be based at Greenland Hong Kong’s Forest Lake real estate project in Zhaoqing, a regional tourist destination that is popular for its scenic natural areas.
According to Sun Qi, general manager of Forest Lake, “Our philosophy for Forest Lake is focused on enriching residents’ lives by offering better cultural and tourism support. We can help to achieve this goal through our strategic partnership with EHang, which is based on extensive research and mutual interests. We intend to work together to utilize our complementary advantages to achieve win-win cooperation.”
In a press release, EHang described aerial tourism as an early urban air mobility (UAM) use case with “strong demand and huge market potential.” The company contends its electric multicopters offer environmental, cost and safety advantages compared to conventional helicopters, opening up new markets for low-altitude aerial sightseeing. Earlier this year, the company announced plans for an “E-port” for aerial tourism in Hezhou city, Guangxi province.
“We are excited to partner with Greenland Hong Kong to launch trial operations of the EH216 and bring our safe, green and comfortable UAM services to local residents,” stated EHang chief strategy officer Edward Xu. “As an AAV technology platform company and a UAM operator, we are steadily rolling out global trial operations and will further work with our partners to build more UAM networks.”
A video released with the announcement shows various passengers taking photos and selfies while riding in an EH216, and praising the EHang flight experience. EHang has conducted numerous demonstration flights of its EH216 with passengers, but has yet to receive certification for the vehicle from any aviation authority.
An EHang spokesperson did not immediately respond to questions from eVTOL.com regarding the regulatory permissions received for the trial program, or the projected timeline for full commercial operations.