Airbus’ Flying Taxi Takes off for the First Time
This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.
Airbus announced a significant step in its flying taxi program. On Wednesday, its full-scale “flying car” Vahana took its first flight.
The Vahana completed two short flights over the last two days, said the company in a statement. The first saw it climb 16 feet and stay airborne for 53 seconds. It successfully completed a second flight on Thursday.
Similar to a helicopter, the Vahana is a VTOL, or vertical take off and landing, vehicle. The test flights occurred in Oregon at the Pendleton Unmanned Aerial Systems Range.
The aircraft resembles a remote control drone, although much bigger. It measures 20.3 feet long, 18.7 feet wide, 9.2 feet tall and features eight rotors. Similar to other flying car prototypes, the Vahana is powered by electricity. It can sit one person inside its black canopy.
The aircraft is “self-piloted,” or autonomous, and this test flight was flown without a human in the vehicle.
Airbus hopes to use Vahana as a way to revolutionize urban travel.
“We anticipate speeds will be 2-4x faster than cars or traffic, and have a flight range of about 50 miles (80 km),” reads Vahana’s website. And not just a way to shuttle individuals, the VTOL could act as a cargo delivery platform, ambulance, mobile hospital or limousine, says the company.
Vahana is a project of Airbus’ Silicon Valley outpost, A3 (pronounced A-cubed). The vehicle was conceived, designed and a working prototype built in less than two years since A3 ‘s founding.
“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, Vahana’s project executive, in a statement.
With hovering now complete, the team will start testing transitions and forward flight. CNN reports that Vahana executives want to start selling the aircraft by 2020.
Featured image courtesy of Airbus.
Welcome to The Points Guy!
Earn 50,000 bonus miles and 5,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $2,000 in purchases on your new card in the first three months of card membership. Plus, earn up to $100 back in statement credits for eligible purchases at U.S. restaurants in the first three months of card membership.
With Status Boost™, earn 10,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, up to two times per year getting you closer to Medallion Status. Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels, 2X Miles at restaurants and at U.S. supermarkets and earn 1X Mile on all other eligible purchases. Terms Apply.
- Earn 50,000 Bonus Miles and 5,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $2,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months.
- Plus, earn up to $100 back in statement credits for eligible purchases at U.S. restaurants with your card within the first 3 months of membership.
- Earn up to 20,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) with Status Boost® per year. After you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, you can earn 10,000 MQMs two times per year, getting you closer to Medallion® Status. MQMs are used to determine Medallion® Status and are different than miles you earn toward flights.
- Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels.
- Earn 2X Miles at restaurants worldwide, including takeout and delivery and at U.S. supermarkets.
- Earn 1X Miles on all other eligible purchases.
- Receive a Domestic Main Cabin round-trip companion certificate each year upon renewal of your Card. *Payment of the government imposed taxes and fees of no more than $75 for roundtrip domestic flights (for itineraries with up to four flight segments) is required. Baggage charges and other restrictions apply. See terms and conditions for details.
- Enjoy your first checked bag free on Delta flights.
- Fee Credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓®.
- Enjoy an exclusive rate of $39 per person per visit to enter the Delta Sky Club® for you and up to two guests when traveling on a Delta flight.
- No Foreign Transaction Fees.
- $250 Annual Fee.
- Terms Apply.
- See Rates & Fees