The EHang EH216 electric vertical take-off and landing vehicle, intended to be used by Spanish National Police, has conducted its maiden flight.
The police force plans to use the aircraft to reach hard-to-reach places or deploy it in emergency and public safety missions.
According to an EHang press release, the Spanish National Police intends to become the first security institution in the European Union to operate an eVTOL.
“Unmanned aircraft systems (‘UAS’) constitute an alternative technological asset for multiple purposes, such as deployment in dangerous areas following a natural disaster or an accident, without endangering human lives. The lower operating costs of UAS and their constant new applications show great advantages over traditional aerial means,” Rafael Pérez, the Secretary of the Spanish State for Security, is quoted as saying n the release.
EHang announced a collaboration with the Spanish National Police in October 2021 and demonstrated an EH216 painted in police livery.
In late September 2022 the Spanish Police Twitter account posted a short video of the vehicle in flight. However, there were no further details about the event until the EHang press release which was published on December 15, 2022.
EHang is one of the main Chinese eVTOL manufacturers, with its production seemingly geared towards public institutions. In 2021 the company tested and started marketing another variant of their EH216 modified with firefighting equipment.