Airbus has completed the first real-air test with its electric VTOL Vahana. The self-flying aircraft reached a height of 5 metres for almost a minute in Oregon. On top, Airbus found a new partner for propulsion in MAGicAll.
Airbus cannot miss out on the ascending trend for electric flying cabs or dreams thereof. The European corporation had invested in the all-electric and autonomous Vahana by A³ back in late 2016 (we reported) and had test scheduled for this year indeed. A³ is the Silicon Valley outpost of Airbus.
Oregon is the site of flight as Airbus’s partners MTSI and SOAR are based there. The first flight of the electric vertical-take-off-and-landing machine had it propel 5 metres high for 56 seconds without a pilot. And without a passenger either.
For real flight, Airbus has teamed up with Siemens and Rolls Royce. Their hybrid airplane is to take-off by 2020, when the E-Fan X will fly regional routes first and serve to propel electric aviation (we reported).
Still, Vahana is to commence testing. Also, Airbus says it has identified a new partner for motors, MAGicALL. The California-based company designs and manufactures custom components (motors, generators, inductors, transformers, etc.). Airbus will begin using the MAGicALL motors for the Vahana soon.
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