Autoflight completes first intercity eVTOL flight  

China’s Autoflight has completed an autonomous 50km eVTOL journey from Shenzhen to Zhuhai, claimed to be the world’s first intercity air taxi flight.


According to the company, the uncrewed, passengerless flight of its Prosperity vehicle across the Pearl River Delta took just 20 minutes, compared with the three hours usually required by car. The Shenzhen-Zhuhai route is part of the future air traffic scenario planned by the regional government as it develops its ‘low-altitude economy’ strategy that aims to open thousands of vertiports across the Greater Bay Area in southern China.

“We are thrilled to showcase AutoFlight’s cutting-edge capabilities today in the world’s first cross-sea and inter-city eVTOL demonstration flight,” said Tian Yu, founder, CEO and co-chairman of AutoFlight.

“Working closely together with the local authorities and partners here, and in other jurisdictions around the world, we will continue to drive this revolution to bring safe, efficient, sustainable and affordable eVTOL flight options to cities around the world.”

In February 2023, Autoflight claimed a world record flight of over 250km on a single charge with its Prosperity I eVTOL. The remotely piloted flight lasted 1 hour 38 minutes and included 20 circuits of a predefined route near a testing facility in Jining, China.

Prosperity can carry up to four passengers - Autoflight

Prosperity was designed by Frank Stephenson, the renowned automotive designer who has worked for Ferrari, McLaren, Maserati, BMW and Ford. The aircraft is claimed to have a top speed of 200 kmh and can carry up to four passengers. Autoflight says it expects certification for crewed passenger flights to take place within the next two years.

AutoFlight partner Heli-Eastern, a low-altitude general aviation carrier and helicopter service provider, recently entered an agreement to purchase 100 Prosperity passenger eVTOLs. The aircraft will be used on routes such as the one recently demonstrated by AutoFlight, from Shekou Ferry Port in Shenzhen to the Jiuzhou Ferry Port in Zhuhai, as well as connecting other transportation hubs in the region.

“We warmly welcome our strong cooperation with Heli-Eastern and together we are rapidly moving towards fully operational air-taxi routes all across the region,” said Tian.