Airbus successfully completed the first test run of its autonomous air taxis. The self-propelled aircraft named Vahana flew successfully and reached a height of five meters before it climbed to the ground.
The first Vahan’s flight lasted only 53 seconds, but it is a very important step for the development of flying taxis, which has been talked about over the years.
Airbus wants to build a fleet of autonomous and multifunctional aircraft that can be used to fly from roof to roof in cities that are struggling daily with heavy traffic jams.
The well-known European consortium for the production of passenger aircraft has launched the production of self-driving flying taxis at the beginning of 2016 as one of the first moves of its branch in the Silicon Valley.
The spacecraft carries the name of Vahana, which in the Sanskrit means God’s vehicle or God’s mountain.
“Our intention has long been to create and produce an electric autonomous aircraft for one passenger that will respond to the increasing need for traffic relief. Our first flight with Vahan represents a huge milestone in the development of urban air mobility,
After two years of planning and building, we are thrilled to see our efforts culminate in successful flight. It’s thanks to the perseverance and dedication of our brilliant people and partners — including the Pendleton UAS Range and MTSI — as well as our extended Airbus family, that we can celebrate today. Getting Vahana to this point, and at this pace, has tested our ingenuity and our resolve. Tomorrow we’ll start on the next steps of our journey.
Following the completion of this successful test, the Vahana team will continue development and perform further flight tests to transition and forward flight. We 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.) with impressive performance on rapid and affordable delivery schedules. We will begin using the MAGicALL motors soon, and will provide additional technical details and insight. We’re excited to continue with this project and look ahead to celebrating future milestones together.” said Zach Lovering, Vahana Project Executive Director.
Vahana is an advanced spacecraft that can function independently in air traffic. According to the plans of Airbus, Vahana should be a vehicle with one passenger seat or dron for cargo transportation. It’s possible that it will fulfill both functions.
After a successful first test, the biggest challenge to the company is the development of a guidance and avoidance system that ensures that the vehicle is not into other vehicles, buildings, birds or other obstacles in the air.