Airbus’ Autonomous Air Taxi Completes its First Test Flight
Airbus announced the first successful test flight of its Vahana electric vertical take-off and landing of its aircraft on January 31, 2018.
At 8:52 am, the vehicle reached a modest height of five meters before gliding downwards safely and the self-piloted flight lasted 53 seconds alone.
Airbus has constantly updated the media about several advancements on its way to actualizing its dream of autonomous fleet, multirotor eVTOL aircraft that can be used to fly from rooftop to rooftop in dense cities where traffic is often at a standstill.
Alpha One was originally scheduled to take flight by December 2017. The vehicle, however, was recently moved from California to a new flight test center in Pendleton, Oregon, where it conducted this week’s demonstration. The flight is expected to be at its production-ready version by 2020. According to the company, Alpha One is 20.3 feet wide, 18.7 feet long, 9.2 feet tall, and weighs 1,642 pounds.
“Our aim has long been to design and build a single passenger electric VTOL self-piloted aircraft that will answer the growing need for urban mobility. Our goal is to democratize personal flight by leveraging the latest technologies such as electric propulsion, energy storage, and machine vision. Our first flights mark a huge milestone for Vahana as well as the global pursuit of urban air mobility.” said Zach Lovering, project executive at Vahana.
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