The IIT-Madras incubated startup has become the first Indian electric aircraft company to receive the design organisation approval
The approval is the first step in the aircraft certification process and paves the way for commercial production of ePlane’s e200 eVTOL aircraft
The ePlane Company is developing flying taxis and other aerial vehicles for movement of logistics, which it plans to launch by as soon as 2025
In a big boost for The ePlane Company, the aerial mobility startup has received design organisation approval (DOA) from the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA).
With this, the IIT-Madras incubated startup has become the first Indian electric aircraft company to receive this nod. The key approval is the first step in the aircraft certification process. It will pave the way for the commercial production of ePlane’s e200 electric Vertical Take-Off and Landing (eVTOL) aircraft.
A DOA is granted when an applicant complies with all stated requirements pertaining to type of design, category of product and activities it intends to perform. It is the first major milestone that sets the stage for further compliances before a company can further initiate commercial deployment.
“We are delighted to receive the DOA certificate from the DGCA… This is a major milestone for our company, it is a crucial first step in the aircraft certification process and paves another stone on the path towards commercialisation of our e200 eVTOL aircraft… The certification brings us a step closer towards our mission to ensure safe passenger flights in India and the world,” The ePlane Company founder and CEO Satyanarayanan Chakravarthy said.
The announcement was made during an event held in Chennai on May 22. The event was attended by DGCA chief Vikram Dev Dutt, DGCA DG V Kamakoti, IIT Director Indranil Chakraborthy, among others.
Speaking at the event, DGCA chief Vikram Dev Dutt said, “We are thrilled to witness the rapid growth and vast potential of the UAV and eVTOL ecosystem in India. ePlane has demonstrated remarkable commitment to meeting stringent aircraft certification norms, reflecting their exceptional calibre and innovative approach…”
The DGCA team also visited the premises of the National Centre for Combustion Research and Development (NCCRD) at IIT Madras’ satellite campus in Thaiyur to take stock of The ePlane Company’s ongoing work.
Founded in 2017 by Professor Satya Chakravarthy, The ePlane Company is currently in the process of developing a flying taxi and other aerial vehicles for passenger mobility logistics. The founder recently told Inc42 that the startup intends to roll out the first set of passenger flights by as soon as 2025.
The startup has raised $6 Mn till date and last secured seed funding of $5 Mn in January 2022. It is backed by investors such as Speciale Invest, CIIE.CO, Java Capital, FirstCheque, among others. Based out of Chennai, the startup’s e200 passenger aerial vehicle can cruise up to a speed of 200 km per hour and has a range of 200 km.
As questions continue over traffic jams and slower movement of goods via roads, the next-generation of aerial mobility seems to have propped with an answer – flying people and goods, rather than driving them on the roads.
Based on different requirements, different aircraft technologies from VTOL to STOL have emerged to ferry people in the air, for medical transport, and for last-mile delivery.
As per a report, the global advanced aerial mobility market size is projected to rise to a market size of $45.12 Bn by 2030.