July 2017, the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) formally accepted the airworthiness certification application by the Autoflight Corp. (Autoflight) for its V400 eVTOL aircraft. Thus V400 becomes the first pure electric vertical take-off and landing fixed-wing aircraft which CAAC officially accepts its airworthiness certification.
With a maximum take-off weight (MTOW) of 400kg, a maximum payload of 100kg and a ultra-long flight range of 300km in the pure electric version, the V400 Albatross is mainly used in eVTOL cargo transportation, such as regional logistics, emergency material transport and emergency rescue, etc.
The V400 uses the vertical take-off and landing fixed-wing structure with a unique high redundancy power design of eight propellers, one pusher and one puller propeller. With its ability to take off and land vertically and hover anywhere without runways or airports like a multi-rotor aircraft or helicopter, and to cruise as fast as a fixed-wing aircraft, the V400 can fly quietly and at the same time achieve long flight distance with a large payload, greatly expanding the range of applications for the autopilot aircraft.
According to the draft UAV Flight Regulations, UAVs with a maximum take-off weight of 25 kg or more should be subject to airworthiness management. The importance of airworthiness certification is to ensure the safety of the aircraft. In recent years, the CAAC has been committed to building and improving the civil UAV industry-standard system and strengthening the airworthiness certification capacity. eVTOL autopilot aircraft has excellent potential, and the acceptance of the application for airworthiness certification of the V400 model reflects the CAAC's high regard for this emerging technology field. It also reflects the concern and support of the CAAC and the relevant leaders of the East China Regional Administration for civil UAVs.
As the most significant take-off weight unmanned eVTOL (electric vertical take-off and landing) autopilot aircraft research and development and manufacturing enterprise in China, Autoflight has been dedicating in providing society with safe and reliable air logistics operation systems and aerial three-dimensional travel solutions. The company's core team has extensive experience in aviation product design and mass production, having previously developed the E430, the first two-seat electric sports aircraft to be certified as airworthy outside of China.
In line with the Autoflight's product strategy of "Small to Big, Cargo to Passenger", the V400 Albatross will be the first significant aircraft in the company's product line to receive airworthiness approval. This landmark event will lay a solid foundation for the system construction and technology reserve of Autoflight and help the development of the eVTOL autopilot aircraft industry.