This week marked a milestone for Airbus Ventures’ Vahana team, which is developing a self-flying, electric-powered air taxi — also known as a flying car.
Vahana’s 20-foot-wide Alpha One prototype executed its first test flight at the Pendleton Unmanned Aerial Systems Range in eastern Oregon, rising to a height of 16 feet (5 meters) during 53 seconds in the air on Jan. 31.
Another test flight came a day later, Vahana project leader Zach Lovering reported in a Medium posting.
Representatives from the Federal Aviation Administration and Airbus’ A3 advanced-projects division were in attendance, along with the full Vahana team, Lovering said.
“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,” he said in a news release.