Airbus, A³, and the Vahana team have announced the successful first flight in Pendleton, Oregon of their single passenger, self-piloted, electric VTOL aircraft called Vahana. Their full-scale aircraft, dubbed Alpha One, reached a height of 5 meters (16 feet) before descending safely. Its first flight, with a duration of 53 seconds, was fully self-piloted and the vehicle completed a second flight the following day. In attendance was the full Vahana team, representatives from the FAA, and A³ leadership, all coming together to witness this historic accomplishment.
The 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. Vahana's goal is to democratize personal flight by leveraging the latest technologies such as electric propulsion, energy storage, and machine vision. The first flights mark a huge milestone for Vahana as well as the global pursuit of urban air mobility.
After two years of planning and building, the team are thrilled to see their efforts culminate in successful flight. It's thanks to the perseverance and dedication of people and partners — including the Pendleton UAS Range and MTSI — as well as the extended Airbus family for getting Vahana to this point, and at this pace.
Following the completion of this successful test, the Vahana team will continue development and perform further flight tests to transition and forward flight. They also have identified a new partner for our motors, MAGicALL. The California-based company designs and manufactures custom, cutting-edge components (motors, generators, inductors, transformers, etc.).
Specifications for the Vahana test aircraft flown on January 31, 2018 are as follows:
Width: 6.2 m / 20.3 ft
Length: 5.7 m / 18.7 ft
Height: 2.8 m / 9.2 ft
Takeoff Weight: 745 kg / 1642 lb
Source and top image: Vahana
Learn more at the next leading event on the topic: Electric Vehicles: Everything is Changing. USA 2018 on 14 - 15 Nov 2018 at Santa Clara Convention Center, CA, USA hosted by IDTechEx.