Thursday, 19 September, 2019

Boeing Autonomous Passenger Air Vehicle Completes First Flight

Boeing’s air taxi is 30 feet long and 28 feet wide with a range of up to 50 miles Boeing's electric autonomous passenger air vehicle just had its first flight
Russell Knight | 25 January, 2019, 21:48

Boeing's "flying car" prototype successfully completed its first test flight in Virginia this week as the company explores the potential of using autonomous passenger air vehicles to transport people in urban environments. PAV is an electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) aircraft, and the aircraft maker plans to continue to test and advance the safety and reliability of on-demand and autonomous air transportation.

A self-flying air taxi built by one of the world's biggest defence and aerospace giants has lifted off on its maiden test flight in the US.

Capable of 50 miles (about 80 kilometres) of flight on a single charge, the 30 foot-long aircraft is created to taxi people for short distance urban commutes, and Aurora Flight Sciences says it is developing both two and four passenger variants. The PAV prototype is 30 feet long with a 28-foot wingspan and has a range of approximately 43 NM (80.47 kilometers).

"This is what revolution looks like, and it's because of autonomy", said President and Chief Executive Officer of Aurora Flight Sciences, John Langford. "Certifiable autonomy is going to make quiet, clean and safe urban air mobility possible".

Boeing and others have discussed the idea of autonomous flying taxis to help ease congestion and improve short-range transportation.

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This isn't the first unmanned air vehicle that NeXt has been developing.

It's all part of a broader effort to relieve traffic in congested cities as the company seeks to "usher in a future of safe, low-stress mobility in cities and regions around the world", Boeing NeXt General Manager Steve Nordlund said in the company's announcement. That aircraft completed an indoor test flight in 2018 and will have an outdoor test flight this year.

This vehicle is not the only autonomous flying machine developed by Boeing. Boeing NeXt's portfolio also includes a fully electric cargo air vehicle created to transport as much as 227kg, which completed its first indoor flight last year and is slated for outdoor testing this year. He told Bloomberg that "I think it will happen faster than any of us understand..."

Uber's aircraft partners are building eVTOLs to operate on Uber's aerial ridesharing network, with Dallas-Fort Worth and Los Angeles targeted as the first US cities for Uber Air.

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