Primarily for general aviation discussion, but other aviation topics are also welcome.
#1519577
Pilotless aircraft already flown/flying outside of CAS from a secret base up north. It was not your classic drone, but a regular bizjet, still had a crew member onboard for intervention if required, however its coming our way soon, will most likely start with single pilot airliners and ground control pilot.
#1519610
Presumably you could operate them reasonably safely over some protected routes with pre-planned emergency landing spots - I believe I'm right in saying that Dubai doesn't have much in the way of GA. Scaling a system to operate over random point-to-point routes in New York would be a very different exercise.

I seem to recall from the original blurb that if all of the engines failed bar one, the aircraft would still be able to spiral to some kind of survivable landing. I can see how that might work, though it doesn't sound at all like a fun ride. With electrical systems, the motors are light and the batteries are heavy, so there's little weight penalty in oversizing your motors to be able to deal with single failures.

The 11 million price tag was for the Israeli drone, not the EHang. I imagine the Chinese ones will be cheaper - especially if they're ever mass produced in which case they could be cheaper than an electric car. But I'm guessing cost-effectiveness might be less important to the rulers of Dubai than the prestige of getting a world-first flying-taxi service. And great for sightseeing!

I don't know how safe the EHang drones will be, but ultimately regulation will be the only thing that stands in the way of similar vehicles. I see no reason they shouldn't be much safer and more cost-effective than traditional helicopters.
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By joe-fbs
#1519640
Re. "single pilot airliners " above:

Obviously Dubai is not EASA but under EASA, single pilot is generally not acceptable for CAT but is acceptable for other forms of “Aerial Work”, which is SPO under EASA-speak.

The specific words about CAT are:

“Additional requirements for commercial air transport operations
ORO.FC.200 Composition of flight crew
(c) Specific requirements for aeroplane operations under instrument flight rules (IFR) or at night.
(1) The minimum flight crew shall be two pilots for all turbo-propeller aeroplanes with a maximum operational passenger seating configuration (MOPSC) of more than nine and all turbojet aeroplanes.
(2) Aeroplanes other than those covered by (c)(1) shall be operated with a minimum crew of two pilots, unless the requirements of ORO.FC.202 are complied with, in which case they may be operated by a single pilot.”

ORO.FC.202 sets pilot conversion and recurrent training requirements for single pilot CAT under IFR or night for turbprop’s with passenger capability of nine or less.