Vahana single passenger autonomous aircraft takes first flight

One of the coolest things that Airbus and its partners have been working on in a long time is a single passenger flying vehicle that can take off and land vertically. The very first flight of this vehicle has taken place. Vahana announced that on January 31, 2018, in Pendleton, Oregon the first full-scale vehicle, called Alpha One, reached a height of 16-feet before landing safely.

That first flight lasted 53 seconds and was fully self-piloted according to Vahana. The following day a second flight was completed and at that flight were representatives from the FAA and other partners. Vahana says that its goal with the aircraft has long been to create a vehicle to answer the growing need for urban mobility.

Vahana wants to create the vehicle leveraging the latest technology in electric propulsion, energy storage, and machine vision. The is first successful test flight is a milestone for the goal of the team working on the aircraft. The process of getting to this first test flight has spanned two years.

Now that the first test flight has been completed successfully, the team will continue to develop, and flight test the vehicle and will be working on the transition to forward flight. Vahana also notes that it has found new partner for its electric motors, MAGicALL. Vahana will begin using motors from that company soon.

The full-scale test aircraft flown on January 31 was 20.3-feet wide, 18.7-feet long, and 9.2-feet high. The aircraft weighed 1642 pounds. It's not clear exactly what sort of payload capacity the aircraft is aiming for or when the next flight test will happen.

Check out its concept video below (not actual first flight video)

SOURCE: Vahana