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Airbus’ Unmanned Electric Aircraft Vahana Sees Sky For the First Time

By Amy Kluber | February 2, 2018
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Airbus A3 Vahana

Airbus A3 Vahana. Photo courtesy of Airbus

The self-piloted, electric, vertical-takeoff-and-landing aircraft out of Airbus Group’s advanced projects outpost in Silicon Valley, A3 (“A-cubed”), has completed its first full-scale flight test Wednesday.

According to a press release on the outpost's website, the aircraft reached a height of 16 feet at the Pendleton UAS Range in Pendleton, Oregon, and flew for 53 seconds. The vehicle completed a second flight Thursday.

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“In just under two years, Vahana took a concept sketch on a napkin and built a full-scale, self-piloted aircraft that has successfully completed its first flight," said Zach Lovering, project executive of Vahana. "Our team is grateful for the support we’ve received from A3 and the extended Airbus family, as well as our partners including MTSI and the Pendleton UAS Range.”

The company aims to develop the aircraft for individual autonomous passenger and cargo transport and hopes to launch a product demonstrator in 2020.

Additional testing in the meantime would include transitions and forward flight.

 

 

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