AutoFlight’s „Prosperity I“ eVTOL Prototype Achieves Transition Test Flight

AutoFlight today announced the successful completion of the transition test flight of the proof-of-concept eVTOL prototype named „Prosperity I“ , in which the aircraft switches from a vertical take-off motion to the more energy efficient, horizontal flight and back to vertical flight, before landing. The successful transition test flight was achieved in January 2022. The unmanned flight, which took place at Autoflight flight test area in JiangSu province, China with CEO Tian Yu, the R&D team and 40 AutoFlight staff present, while Prosperity I rose to an altitude of 150 meters at speeds of up to 123 mph (196km/h).

Footage of the transition test flight:

Prosperity I was designed for short transfers between parts of a city, airport commutes, connecting two nearby cities or enabling trips to the countryside while avoiding traffic on the ground. Autoflight expect it to be ready for commercial flight in 2025.

A ‘transition’ is when an aircraft moves from a vertical to horizontal motion and is one of the most challenging parts of an eVTOL flight. Vertical flight for the proof of concept for Prosperity I required eight rotors to lift the 3,307 pounds, including four-person, state-of-the-art electric aircraft into the air. Once the aircraft reached an altitude of 150 meters and the airspeed of 100-110mph the fixed wing part of the eVTOL generated lift. At this point, Prosperity I entered the complex transition phase – the rotors on the top stopped spinning and locked in a streamlined position, whilst the propellers on the rear pushed the aircraft forward like a traditional fixed wing plane.

AutoFlight CEO Tian Yu, who has over two decades of experience designing and building electric aircraft, and 300 electric aviation-related patents, said:

“The team and I are thrilled to have cracked the smooth transition phase of eVTOL flight, unlocking the skies for Prosperity I and our commercial products. We were confident we had a good design underpinned by sound engineering, and delighted to see that the transition was smooth, safe and seamless.”

Mark Henning, Managing Director of AutoFlight Europe said:

“Achieving a smooth transition phase in record time, from prototype to flight. Underlines the caliber of the engineering team we have at AutoFlight and gives great confidence as we progress into the development phase and layout plans for our first manned aircraft, the Prosperity I. The simplicity of AutoFlight’s design lies in our patented ‘Lift and Cruise’ configuration, which combines superior range and safety with low technical complexity, making it affordable to manufacture, maintain and operate as an air taxi.”

The milestone is the latest of significant recent developments for AutoFlight including the establishment of a European base in Augsburg, Germany, the appointment of  Mark Henning (formerly of Airbus) as its European Managing Director, as well as $100 million investment from next-generation mobility investor Team Global.