Chinese passenger drone maker EHang is said to file for U.S. IPO

 

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An EHang Inc. E-184 drone.

 Technology startup is working on producing passenger drones.

EHang may raise as much as $200 million in public offering.

EHang, one of China’s largest drone makers, has made a confidential application for an initial public offering with Nasdaq Inc., according to people with knowledge of the matter.

EHang plans to float 10% to 15% of its shares, with the company’s valuation not yet set due to volatile market conditions, said one of the people, who asked not to be identified because the plans aren’t public. EHang may raise as much as $200 million in the IPO, one of the people said.

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Lift Aircraft’s passenger drone is all about fun flights

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The 18-rotor aircraft can be manned without a pilot’s license.

Lift Aircraft. While the likes of Uber, Airbus and Porsche tinker away on their respective passenger and transportation drones, a lesser-known startup is taking an altogether different approach. Instead of getting mired in the logistics and regulatory frameworks of city-wide drone rides, Lift Aircraft wants you to use its 18-rotor “Hexa” aircraft for short recreational flights. The large drone — which weighs 432 pounds and is capable of 10-15 minutes of continuous flight with a single passenger — could be available to the public as early as next year.

Lift is promising flight experiences at hubs located in “scenic, un-congested areas” in 25 cities across the US. Because the Hexa doesn’t count as a “real” aircraft (it’s a “powered ultralight”) it doesn’t require a pilot’s license. However, you also can’t go past a few hundred feet of altitude or fly over populated areas.

Here’s how it will work: if you decide to fork out around $150-$200 for the experience on a day out, you’ll first have to complete a VR training simulator. Budding pilots must be over 18 years of age, up to 6 foot 5 inches in height and weigh under 250 lbs. You’ll then be able to take to the skies for up to 15 minutes at a time, controlling the drone using a joystick and an iPad, while its onboard computer keeps it stable.

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