Drones are fun — they fly, they stop, they perform incredible, impossible-seeming stunts … now the big ones are setting distance records!
EVTOL company AutoFlight has made a big entrance into the electrified air taxi market, recently debuting its fourth-generation prototype, the Prosperity I. The aircraft completed the longest-ever eVTOL flight on a single charge, flying 250.64 km (155.74 miles) and beating Joby Aviation’s previous record. The new Prosperity I boasts a different airframe than previous models, with thicker wings and four propulsion rails that house eight lift propellers, plus an additional pusher at the back of the cabin.
Although AutoFlight’s lift-and-cruise design sacrifices some efficiency, its simplicity makes it a legit contender in the eVTOL market. The company claims a 150-mile range and plans to be certified and in service by 2025. With over $200 million in funding, AutoFlight currently sits at #16 on SMG Consulting’s latest Advanced Air Mobility Reality Index, with Joby up in the top spot.
Prosperity Image Gallery
While it’s exciting to see the Prosperity I’s record-breaking eVTOL flight, the aircraft flew without passengers, and its lift props remained exposed during cruise flight, potentially limiting its range compared to more complex designs. Nevertheless, the achievement did technically validate AutoFlight’s range claims.
AutoFlight’s President, Omer Bar-Yohay, called the flight a “great celebratory milestone” and a testament to the team’s progress.
The Prosperity I’s cabin is notably larger than previous models, potentially accommodating up to five passengers. However, the aircraft is still in development, and it’s uncertain when passengers will be able to actually fly in it. Guess we’ll just have to wait and see.
World’s Longest eVTOL Flight – 250.3KM – AutoFlight
SOURCE | IMAGES: NEWATLAS
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