Geely begins testing the largest eVTOL prototype ever flown in China

Geely begins testing the largest eVTOL prototype ever flown in China

Remember the Terrafugia Transition flying car, out of Massachusetts? Terrafugia was acquired by Chinese giant Geely in 2017, after which it moved into eVTOL design in transition, then was more or less closed and relocated to China in 2021. Geely then invested some 55 million dollars in German eVTOL company Volocopter, started a subsidiary called Aerofugia in Chengdu, and set up a joint venture to enter the eVTOL air taxi business.

Today, Aerofugia has a full-scale prototype in the air, developed from some of the Terrafugia team’s latest eVTOL designs. The AE200 series technical demonstrator is a five-seat electric air taxi with a wide, top-mounted wing and four long propulsion pods, each with a propeller at each end. The forward prop bank is able to tilt fully horizontal for cruise flight, and the two inner pods are connected by a rear wing and extend into the vertical tail fins.

Like other Chinese companies eVTOL Automatic flight And TCab TechAerofugia plans to go to market with a piloted design, rather than going straight into autonomous air taxis like eHang already uses make the public fly.

While the AE200 prototype is the largest Chinese eVTOL ever flown, according to the South China Morning Post, it’s unclear exactly how close this machine is to the TF-2the Aerofugia aircraft hopes to be certified and in service by 2025-6.

The Aerofugia TF-2’s sleek design is likely closer to what will go into production


The TF-2 is also a five-seater, but appears to have a different cabin shape, a raised rear wing, and a thruster behind the cabin for cruise flight. Only the two inner front propellers seem capable of tilting forward in cruise flight, the rest remaining oriented vertically.

Geely is only the seventh-largest automaker in China, but it still sells more than two million cars a year, with revenue of around $14 billion a year. As Aerofugia’s parent company, it brings huge volume manufacturing capability, although there’s a pretty huge leap between automotive and aerospace. So, Aerofugia could definitely become a very important player in this space.

Sources: Aerofuge via South China Morning Post And Urban Air Mobility News

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