The Future of Advanced Air Mobility

Autoflight Aviation Technology unveiled its two-seat, all-electric V600 eVTOL prototype in April 2019 at the Aero Friedrichshafen air show. The designation V600 refers to the 600-kg (13,231-pound) upper weight limit for the European Union Aviation Safety Agency's ultralight type certification class. This model appears to be a platform from which to develop a larger, and as-yet unnamed, eVTOL with four seats.

At the time of the Aero Friedrichshafen 2019 launch, Autoflight indicated that it was just a few weeks away from making a first flight with the V600. However, this had still not happened as of September 2020. The program timeline calls for a production version of a larger "production-grade vehicle" to be ready to fly in 2022, with passenger operations projected to start in 2025. The aircraft is intended for a variety of roles, including air-taxi services and cargo delivery.

No specifications or performance details have been published. The V600 design unveiled in April 2019 featured six 8-foot-2-inch propellers for lift and a single 5-foot-10-inch pusher propeller for horizontal flight. Three propellers are installed on booms on each side of the fuselage, with two pointing down on each side and one pointing up. The aircraft has a wing with conventional flight control surfaces, including flaps and ailerons.

The China-based company has a Germany-based subsidiary called AutoFlightX. On September 13, 2020, it unveiled a new unmanned cargo-carrying eVTOL designated as the V400 and confirmed that it also has plans for a larger logistics aircraft called the V1000.

Timeline

Projected

first delivery

Passenger airtaxi operations begin with V600
Projected

test flight

Test flight starts for full-scale production version of V600 eVTOL

test flight

When the V600 technology demonstrator was unveiled in April 2019, AutoFlightX said that the first flight would happen in a few weeks. However, this had still not happened as of September 2020 and the company has not provided an updated timeline for the program. 

Outlook

Our objective assessment of this program’s probable success.

FutureFlight assesses the probability of success for a new aircraft program by considering the following criteria:

  • Total investment funds available in proportion to the anticipated cost of getting an aircraft certified and in service
  • A company’s in-house capability (in terms of numbers of engineers, technical staff, and customer support teams)
  • The past experience of the company and its senior leadership in developing aircraft
  • The caliber and past experience of key program partners
  • Whether key aircraft systems have been selected and are available for use
  • Whether the preliminary design review has been completed
  • Whether the design for the full-scale prototype has been completed
  • Whether the type certification process has been formally initiated with an appropriate regulator
  • Whether the company has achieved a first flight with a full-scale prototype
  • The number of hours logged in a flight test program
  • Whether type certification has been achieved
  • The number of orders and commitment received for the aircraft
  • Whether the company has adequate facilities to begin series production of the aircraft
Our Methodology

AutoFlightX has aviation pedigree behind it in the shape of Yu Tian, who founded Chinese drone manufacturer Yuneec International Electric Aviation. The rest of the Germany-based company's leadership team consists of young, but extremely well-educated, engineers from Munich Technical University.

The unveiling of the V600 eVTOL prototype was supposed to herald an imminent first flight. But, as of January 2020, that landmark had yet to be met and it remained unclear when it will be accomplished. The company has indicated that it may launch a new funding round in 2019, but again this has yet happen. Nor is it clear how well funded the company is and whether a lack of funding might be the cause of the delayed first flight. The published timeline calls for a full-scale, production version of the aircraft to be ready to fly in 2022 and ready to begin passenger operations (i.e. after completing type certification) by 2025. These are ambitious targets for an aircraft that has yet to fly.

Autoflight eVTOL Models

V400 Specifications

autonomous vtol Fixed Wing

Performance

  • Passenger Capacity
  • Range
    621 mi
  • Cruise Speed
    n/a
  • Powerplant Type
    multi rotor
  • Power Source
    hybrid_fe
  • Endurance
    n/a
  • Max Altitude
    16,400 ft
  • Takeoff Distance
    n/a
  • Landing Distance
    n/a
  • Empty Weight
    n/a
  • MGTOW
    882 lb
  • Payload Weight
    220 lb

Dimensions

  • Length
    22 ft
  • Width
    n/a
  • Height
    4 ft
  • Wingspan
    30 ft

Autoflight unveiled its V400 eVTOL on September 13, 2020. The autonomous aircraft will be used for light logistics missions with a payload of 100 kg (220 pounds). It will be available with all-electric or hybrid propulsion systems with, respective, ranges of 300 km (186 miles) and 1,000 km (621 miles). The aircraft has six rotors fitted on two parallel beams that connect its main wing to a forward canard, and two more on the tail.

Key Personnel

Tian Yu, CEO of AutoFlightX
Tian Yu

Founder

AutoFlightX Chief Technology Officer David Löbl.
David Löbl

Chief Technology Officer (CTO)

Matthias Bittner, AutoFlightX COO
Matthias Bittner

Chief operating officer