Vahana, Airbus A³’s electric, self-piloted, VTOL aircraft has successfully completed its first full-scale flight test, reaching a height of 5 metres (16 feet) before descending safely. Its first flight, with a duration of 53 seconds, was fully self-piloted and the vehicle completed a second flight the following day.
“Today we are celebrating a great accomplishment in aerospace innovation,” said Zach Lovering, Project Executive of Vahana. “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. Our team is grateful for the support we’ve received from A³ and the extended Airbus family, as well as our partners including MTSI and the Pendleton UAS Range.”
“Vahana’s first flight demonstrates Airbus’ unique ability to pursue ambitious ideas quickly, without compromising the quality and safety for which the company is well-known. For A³, it proves that we can deliver meaningful innovation with aggressive project timetables, to provide a real competitive advantage for Airbus,” said Rodin Lyasoff, A³ CEO and former Project Executive of Vahana. “Our focus now is on celebrating the work of the tireless Vahana team while maintaining the momentum of this accomplishment.”
Vahana is a project developed at A³, the Silicon Valley outpost of Airbus focused on cutting-edge innovation. The team will now turn to additional testing, including transitions and forward flight.