Malaysian aviation services group Aerotree this week launched a partnership to develop urban air mobility (UAM) operations with Chinese eVTOL aircraft manufacturer EHang. Under a deal announced on March 10, Aerotree placed “preorders” for 50 examples of the two-seat EH216 Autonomous Aerial Vehicle (AAV) and 10 of the larger VT-30 model.
The commitment to take the all-electric EH216s covers the basic passenger-carrying version (designated as the EH216-S) as well as the EH216-L cargo transporter and the EH216-F, which is being developed for firefighting. Aerotree says that it has previously purchased a single example of the EH216-S, which is being assessed by the Civil Aviation Administration of China for type certification.
Aerotree was formed in 1998 and specializes in maintenance, repair, and overhaul as well as training. The company says that it also has an air service permit from the Malaysian Aviation Commission clearing it to operate the aircraft in the Southeast Asian country.
“Our comprehensive AAV products and solutions are well suited to a variety of intracity and intercity UAM use cases in Malaysia, such as passenger transportation, aerial sightseeing, aerial firefighting, and aerial logistics,” said EHang founder, chairman, and CEO Huazhi Hu. “The rising demand and preorders for a large number of our passenger-grade AAVs from Japan and Malaysia will unleash the great market potential for EHang in Asia.”