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Nikos Chatzis

“…Shanghai-based eVTOL developer AutoFlight has confirmed key specifications of the V1500M, the fully electric air taxi design it unveiled last month at the China International Aviation & Aerospace Exhibition in Zhuhai.

The winged aircraft has a lift-plus-cruise design, with eight lifting propellers for vertical take-offs and landings and two pusher props at the rear for forward flight. AutoFlight is targeting a fully loaded range of 250 kilometers (155 miles) and a cruise speed of 200 km/h (125 mph).

Standing just over three meters (10 feet) tall, with a length of 10.3 m (around 34 feet) and a wingspan of 12.8 m (42 feet), the aircraft will have a maximum take-off weight of 1,500 kilograms (3,300 pounds) and be able to carry three or four passengers. Although AutoFlight expects that initial operations will require a safety pilot, the aircraft is being designed for fully autonomous flight.

AutoFlight said that a V1500M prototype will make its first flight in the “very near future,” as the company works toward certification of the aircraft by 2024.

“The V1500M is a milestone — not only for AutoFlight but also for the global development of the urban air mobility,” AutoFlight founder and CEO Tian Yu stated in a press release. “Our company is committed to developing safe and reliable passenger eVTOL aircraft and helping to create a better mobility future…”