Everyone is just getting the hang of drones yet, and we were surprised when we saw courier packages being delivered by drones. But Ehang, a China-based drone company have gone a step ahead and come up with a unique concept. They have built a drone that can carry a single human passenger, yes that’s true, a single passenger from one point to the other, which is capable of flying at an altitude of over 11,000 feet. Guess the days when we fly around like “The Jetsons” family are nearing.
This new drone from Ehang is called the Ehang 184 AAV (Autonomous Aerial Vehicle) and to summarize it, it is a 142-horsepower AAV or a Personal Flying vehicle that can transport people from one place to another at an altitude of 11,000 feet. The company said that this device is for small to medium travel distances, and is designed for people with little piloting experience with any flying object.
Diving into the specifications of the Ehang 184, we find that it powered by a 142-horsepower electric motor that drives the machine at a maximum speed of 62 miles/hour, i.e. approximately 100 km/h. The machine has a massive wingspan of 18 feet when totally unfolded, and weighs a whopping 440 lbs (200 Kg). The drone is capable of carrying a person of up to 264 pounds in weight (120 kg).
Flying the Ehang 184 is totally simple, as everything is controlled via a mobile app. The passenger has to enter the destination on the app, and then has to just execute two commands, one to take off and the other one to land. Once you give the takeoff command, the drone will take off vertically, and navigate using real-time sensor data to keep you on course.
The construction of the Ehang 184 is pretty solid. It is made up of a composite material, along with carbon fiber and epoxy. In the cabin, there’s a single control pad, air conditioning vent and a reading light. On the outside, the Ehang 184 has lights on all the 4 propellers, a headlight, a downward-facing video camera and flashing airline signal lights. Also, the Ehang 184 has a trunk somewhere that can store up to a 16-inch backpack.
The pricing for the Ehang 184 is still unknown but is likely to be priced somewhere between 200,000 to 300,000 USD as told by Ehang. Also, the availability of the Ehang 184 is still unknown because it is not clear if it will be even legal to use such a device in most of the countries, including the USA. Ehang has mentioned that they are working with government agencies across the globe to figure out policies and permissions that such a machine would require since it is a completely new technology and no rules and regulations exist in place for it.