November 17, 2023
An eVTOL (electric takeoff and landing) startup has introduced a fully functional prototype of a flying vehicle aimed at firefighting.
The high-payload firefighting vehicle from AutoFlight can carry up to 800 pounds with a range of 124 miles.
The self-flying aerial vehicle (EAV) is designed to transport four high-performance fire-extinguishing canisters weighing 22 pounds each with the capacity to extinguish fires covering up to 235 square yards individually.
A single payload could extinguish fires spanning up to 950 square yards, according to the company.
The EAV is based on the China startup’s fully electric Carryall model,
“Compared to existing firefighting unmanned aerial vehicles available in the market, AutoFlight’s prototype has achieved significant breakthroughs in terms of load capacity, flight duration, coverage, flight efficiency and firefighting effectiveness,” said Kellen Xie, senior vice president of global sales and business development at AutoFlight. “The initial demonstrations with potential customers received very encouraging feedback. We will now enter discussions with clients and development partners to evolve the prototype into product, including ground station and supporting systems.”
AutoFlight also makes a four-passenger flying taxi model called Prosperity 1.
That version recently was tested by taking off vertically and flying in formation. Those vehicles have flown at different heights and for different durations with test flights ranging up to 75 miles at a time and up to 42 minutes per flight.
AutoFlight recently demonstrated the formation of three self-flying EAVs in Shanghai.
The company plans to turn the prototypes into products, starting with the cargo-carrying version for Asia next year, followed by the passenger-carrying version.
"We aim to complement urban and regional means of transport for all people by building very safe, quiet, and affordable air taxis," said Tian Yu, founder of AutoFlight.
The company has dual headquarters in Shanghai, China, and Augsburg, Germany.
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