EHang has had a great year. Now, the world’s leading passenger drone platform is not introducing an entirely new aircraft, but a new application. EHang is launching a new version of the EHang 216 as a firefighting drone.
EHang’s firefighting drone, the EHang 216F, is specially designed for high-rise firefighting. EHang describes the 216F as “the world’s first large-payload intelligent aerial firefighting solution,” in a company release. While the firefighting capabilities of the 216F are impressive, EHang’s ability to translate their platform from the future application of passenger transportation and urban air mobility to current critical applications like search and rescue, cargo transport, and emergency services is even more impressive. Drone taxis may be years away from mainstream implementation, but firefighting drones offer a critical tool for right now.
EHang demonstrated the 216F at a launch event in Yunfu, China. The 216F can carry up to 150 liters of firefighting foam and 6 fire extinguisher bombs in one trip: the 216F can reach altitudes of 600 ft. Using a visible light zoom camera to quickly identify the location of fire, the 216F “hovers precisely in position and uses a laser aiming device to fire (in succession) a window breaker, the fire extinguishing “bombs” and then a full-range spray of firefighting foam,” the EHang release explains. “Multiple 216Fs can be deployed to rapidly extinguish the fire.”
EHang’s Founder, Chairman and CEO, Huazhi Hu said, “We are pleased to introduce the EHang 216F AAV aerial firefighting solution, which solves difficult challenges in high-rise firefighting. The high-rise fire use case highlights the practical application of our passenger-grade AAV platform to different smart city management needs. The potential of our intelligent AAV technology platform is boundless. We will explore and develop more aerial solutions and use cases to empower smart cities.”
“Firefighting and rescue is a race against death. By taking advantage of the rapid response and centralized management of the EHang AAV platform, we can greatly improve the effectiveness of our efforts,” said by Weiqiang Chen, the head of a fire station in Yunfu. “EHang’s intelligent aerial firefighting solution can effectively solve difficult problems in fighting high-rise fires. This complements existing firefighting systems and will improve society’s ability to respond to emergencies.”
“EHang 216Fs are expected to be deployed in urban fire stations to assist in firefighting within a 5km radius,” explains the EHang release. “EHang’s autopilot and centralized management technologies enable a fleet of EHang 216Fs to be remotely dispatched for first response even before the firefighters arrive. This significantly shortens response time and can reduce casualties.”