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Science & Technology

Vahana 'flying car' passes first flight test

February 5, 2018 | Comment icon 5 comments



Flying passenger drones could become commonplace in the future. Image Credit: Airbus
The autonomous flying passenger drone has taken to the skies for the first time at a test site in Oregon.
Developed by aerospace giant Airbus, the futuristic vehicle is a full-scale electric vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) craft designed to provide commuters with a cost-effective alternative to cars or trains.

This latest test, which was conducted at the Pendleton Unmanned Aerial Systems Range, saw the Vahana reach a height of 16ft for approximately 53 seconds before touching down safely.

Eventually, the vehicle will be able to travel up to 50 miles at four times the speed of road traffic.
"In just under 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," said project executive Zach Lovering.

It is hoped that in the future, flying vehicles such as this will provide many different services ranging from hauling cargo to carrying out search and rescue operations.



Source: CNBC | Comments (5)


Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #1 Posted by TripGun 5 years ago
I'm no engineer but can we get some screen covers for these decapitators?
Comment icon #2 Posted by Hammerclaw 5 years ago
Too complicated, too many parts and too many critical points of potential failure. Seems more of a conceptual model than a working prototype.
Comment icon #3 Posted by paperdyer 5 years ago
First - in a safety paranoid environment as the world id going to, if there is a 1 in a billion chance a decapitation can occur the plane needs to be "guarded". Having said that, the more you idiot-proof something, the more people don't watch what's going on because "it's safe". The end product is a better idiot that will still find someway to have a decapitation. Second - I don't care how safe these things will be touted to be. I'm not ever getting in one unless I'm going to die otherwise for sure. Then I'll take the chance and hope no one hacks the computer.
Comment icon #4 Posted by Captain Risky 5 years ago
this is just re-inventing the wheel. whats wrong with existing helicopters? whack on an electric engine, limit noise and cover the rotor blades. hey presto, you got yourself a flying car.
Comment icon #5 Posted by Timonthy 5 years ago
A bit better to have a completely new purpose built design than trying to retrofit an old helicopter with an autonomous flight system and electric engine. Not really designed for that purpose!


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