AutoFlight, a developer of next-generation craft for air taxi operation, has announced the current version of its Prosperity I plane set a world record for electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) flight by covering over 250 kilometers on a single charge.
AutoFlight made the announcement today, saying the Gen4 iteration of Prosperity I broke the previous 248 km record set by Joby in 2021 with a 250.64 km flight. AutoFlight said the mark was set February 23 when its eVTOL air taxi prototype completed 20 circuits of a predefined flight track at the company’s European test base in Augsburg, Germany.
In addition to using what the company called Prosperity I’s own state-of-the-art avionics, the remotely piloted flight also relied on third-party ForeFlight systems to provide independent verification of the record distance covered.
Read: AutoFlight’s Prosperity I eVTOL air taxi passes transition test [Video]
While AutoFlight cheered the precedent set during the test run, it also noted the otherwise successful test flight places the Prosperity I eVTOL on course to meet the company’s objective of obtaining European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) certification of the air taxi in 2025.
“This flight is both a great celebratory milestone, and a testament to the team’s incredible effort and progress in testing and incrementally pushing the aircraft’s performance envelope,” said AutoFlight CEO Omer Bar-Yohay. “It’s a remarkable achievement that shows our aircraft’s capability, and we are excited to continue working towards our next goals all the way to EASA certification in 2025.”
The Gen4 iteration of Autoflight’s Prosperity I was designed by Frank Stephenson, whose vehicle portfolio includes work for car companies including Ferrari, Maserati, McLaren, and MINI.
AutoFlight has conceived the eVTOL air taxi to reach speeds of over 200 km/h and fly more than 250 km in a single charge – meaning the current Prosperity I prototype exceeded its intended maximum distance in establishing the new record.
Read: China’s AutoFlight opens EU eVTOL air taxi R&D, testing unit
That milestone was passed almost a year to the day of an earlier version of the aircraft that successfully made its first vertical-takeoff-to-horizontal-propulsion flight test. Since then, the company says intervening versions of Prosperity I have completed those transitional stages “hundreds of times” as part of longer outings during which the plane racked up thousands of air miles.
Founded in 2017 by Tian Yu and backed by next-generation mobility investor Team Global, Shanghai-based AutoFlight established its European unit last year in Germany to accelerate the Prosperity I air taxi’s development, and begin interfacing with the EASA on eventual certification of the eVTOL.