Commonly referred to as a flying car, Airbus has been working on an all-electric vertical take-off and landing aircraft called Vahana for a couple of years now. The company had said that it would test Vahana by the end of 2017 but it missed that deadline only by a month or so because the Vahana has now passed its first flying test. Airbus has announced the first successful flight test of this craft which took place at a test site in Oregon.
Airbus launched its Vahana project two years ago. It’s a full-scale electric vertical take-off and landing craft. The Vahana reportedly reached a height of 16 feet during its first test flight before landing at a site in Pendleton, Oregon.
The company says that the first test flight lasted 53 seconds. Zach Lovering, Vahana’s project executive, said in a press release that in just 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.”
Airbus is working on this craft at its A³ facility in Silicon Valley. The ultimate aim of this project is to provide commuters with an autonomous craft that is cost-comparable to using the train or a car for commuting.
A production version is expected to be ready by 2020. In the mean time, Airbus is now going to test the craft’s ability to change direction in flight now that it has successfully tested its hovering capability.