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Airbus first announced its plans to create a self-flying taxi service in 2016. On Jan. 31, after two years of planning and building, it proved it isn’t just a pipedream — the Vahana successfully completed its first flight test.
The full-scale aircraft flew fully autonomously for 53 seconds at an altitude of 16 feet (gotta start somewhere) at its testing grounds in Pendleton, Oregon. It conducted another flight the following day, which seems to have gone well, too. The FAA was in attendance of the flight tests.
“Our goal is to democratize personal flight by leveraging the latest technologies such as electric propulsion, energy storage, and machine vision,” Zach Lovering, Vahana project executive, wrote in a Medium post.
originally posted by: anzha
Bet they won't need the airport. They'll have little heliport type things. The SF Bay area is ripe for it. Just allow them to fly over the bay and away from the incoming airliners. Having been stuck on the bay area bridges for some times hours at a time...
Kitty Hawk, the same group of California dreamers who introduced the leisure-focused Flyer last year, has revealed an all-electric, self-piloted air taxi in New Zealand. The company, which is backed by Alphabet's Larry Page, has been working on "an aircraft so personal it could weave the freedom of flight into our daily lives" since 2010. Cora is the result – a two-seater short hop aircraft that can lift off and land like a helicopter and flies forward like an airplane.