China-based AutoFlight has shared footage of its latest full-scale proof-of-concept (POC) transition flight test on June 2.
The video shows the Prosperity I eVTOL aircraft’s full 7.5-minute uncrewed flight with sound, which includes the aircraft transitioning from vertical take-off and hover to forward flight and then back to vertical flight before landing. The aircraft flew a range of 14.3 kilometers (8.9 miles), reaching a maximum speed of 172 km/h (106 mph).
The company said its latest video shows an upgraded lift-plus-cruise design of the Prosperity I in comparison to its first POC footage in February. AutoFlight said its latest design includes optimized lifting propellers that allow for a higher hover efficiency. Meanwhile, the two pushing propellers that were previously on either side of the aircraft have been replaced with one center propeller with twin motors to enhance cruising capabilities.
The company said it took around three months to build its second POC, completing its maiden flight in April. The company has since carried out around 30 flight transitions in recent weeks using this latest POC.
“This further demonstrates the great potential of our [lift-plus-cruise] configuration which combines simplicity and safety,” said Mark Henning, managing director of AutoFlight Europe, in a press release. “We will encompass all these key experiences and learnings into the final full-scale design of Prosperity I, which we will be revealing later this year.”
AutoFlight’s lift-plus-cruise aircraft is targeting a range of 250 km (155 mi) and a cruise speed of 200 km/h (125 mph), with three passengers and a pilot onboard. The eVTOL developer is aiming to begin passenger services in 2026.
The milestone is the latest in a series of developments for AutoFlight, including establishing a European base in Augsburg, Germany, and the appointing Henning, a former Airbus Helicopters manager, as the center’s managing director. The startup also received US$100 million in funding from Berling Tech Holding company Team Global in November for global expansion and scaling cargo production.