The Austrian airline supplier has entered into a partnership with the Chinese wheel manufacturer EHang and plans to develop and produce stand-alone aircraft in Austria in the future.
The Austrian aerospace team FACC has entered into a strategic partnership with the Chinese technology company EHang for an autonomous flight. EHang is one of the world's leading aviation companies and in 2016 was voted by Fast Company magazine "The Most Innovative Companies in the World". The Guangzhou-based company launched "EHang 184" in 2016 at the International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, the world's first standalone aircraft.
Production and testing sector in Austria
As FACC spokesman Andreas Peroti explained in an interview with Austrian Aviation Net, the production of such AAV will be held in Austria in the FACC in the future. "EHang specializes in software, we know the material," says Perotti. Passenger airplanes need to be optimized together and mature in a row, and new technologies and concepts in this area will be explored in the future. EHang acts as an inventor and expert on all issues related to standalone flight – especially in terms of connectivity and software solutions. In addition to production, FACC also supports development, certification and the global aftermarket market.
The two companies also want to work closely with industrial partners, politicians and aviation authorities – passenger aircraft are somewhat new territory in many areas. In Austria, in this context, an aircraft test sector will also be created, so one wants to reach out to local partners such as Schiebel, TTTech, Frequentis or Infineon, as Perotti explained. There are also talks with the Ministry of Transport.
Traffic release for cities
The "Urban Air Mobility" area offers many fantasies of growth. According to a study by Roland Berger, air taxis worth 32 billion euros will be needed in the coming years. The reason is that by 2030, 5.2 billion people will live in urban areas and about a billion more people than at present, which will cause people's daily life from congestion. Aircraft taxis should help resolve traffic problems in cities by using airspace as the third dimension. New electric motors, high-performance batteries with short charging times, minimum space requirements for take-off and landing areas, fast computers and large data must create the necessary conditions.