A company affiliated with Airbus completed the maiden test flight of an all-electric, self-piloting drone the aviation firm hopes will eventually become a “flying taxi.”
The dream is still pretty distant. The aircraft flew for about one minute during the test, which took place January 31 but was announced, with actual footage of the flight, on Thursday.
“During our minute-long flight, the primary battery system used about 8% of its total energy, demonstrating that the vehicle is capable of much more. As our flight test campaign continues, we will be sure to keep you updated,” A³ said in a Thursday blog post.
The aircraft’s name, Vahana, is a Sanskrit word referring to the vehicle or mount of a god.
According to Vahana project manager Zack Lovering, 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. Our goal is to democratize personal flight by leveraging the latest technologies such as electric propulsion, energy storage, and machine vision.”
Earlier this week, Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi said he could see a full-service Uber Air service within 10 years that would transport passengers via flying taxis.
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