Aerospace & Defence

Fully electric, autonomous firefighting eVTOL

15th November 2023
Paige West

AutoFlight has recently unveiled a high-payload firefighting programme along with a fully operational prototype.

The prototype, designed for firefighting, has a maximum take-off weight of two metric tonnes (MTOW). It is capable of carrying a 400kg payload over distances of up to 200km, with speeds reaching over 200km/h. This model can transport four high-performance fire-extinguishing canisters, each weighing 100kg. Each canister can extinguish fires covering up to 200sq/m, meaning the collective capacity of the four canisters extends to extinguishing fires over an area of up to 800sq/m.

This firefighting model is an adaptation of the CarryAll, AutoFlight’s cargo eVTOL, which is expected to receive certification from the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) by early 2024.

Kellen Xie, Senior Vice President of Global Sales & Business Development at AutoFlight, highlighted the prototype's capabilities: “Compared to existing fire-fighting Unmanned Aerial Vehicles available in the market, AutoFlight's prototype has achieved significant breakthroughs in terms of load capacity, flight duration, coverage, flight efficiency and firefighting effectiveness. The initial demonstrations with potential customers received very encouraging feedback. We will now enter discussions with clients and development partners to evolve the prototype into product, including ground station and supporting systems.”

Xie also mentioned that units are now available for joint development by firefighting organisations, with operations expected to commence in 2024.

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