Come fly with me: Unmanned aerial taxi from Airbus takes flight

The Vahana, a self-piloted prototype air-taxi makes its first successful flight.

By CRM Staff

Vancouver, B.C. — February 5, 2018 — Airbus rescently celebrated a milestone accomplishment when its Vahana aircraft completed its first full-scale flight. Designed to be the first unmanned aerial taxi, Airbus hopes the vehicles may one day replace all taxis on the road.

The Vahana aircraft is a pilot project from Airbus’s Silicon Valley initiative A3, with the intention to innovate personal mobility in urban areas through self-operated air vehicles. The current prototype is 5.7 metres long and 6.2 metres in width.

The flight took place at the Pendelton Unmanned Aerial Systems Range in Oregon. Reaching five metres in height from the ground, the flight lasted 53 seconds. A second successful flight was completed on Thursday.

The goal of the project is “to design and build a single passenger electric VTOL self-piloted aircraft that will answer the growing need for urban mobility,” said Zach Lovering, project executive, Vahana. Future tests will take the aircraft from vertical hovering into forward flight. The aircraft will be able to carry a single passenger by 2019, with sales of the completed aircraft estimated to begin by 2020.


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