Boeing’s autonomous air taxi

Posted on 12 Feb 2019 and read 1393 times
Boeing’s autonomous air taxiBoeing has successfully completed the first test flight of its autonomous passenger air vehicle (PAV) prototype in the USA.

Boeing NeXt — tasked with helping to create a world in which autonomous and piloted vehicles can safely co-exist — worked with Boeing subsidiary Aurora Flight Sciences to design and develop the electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) aircraft and will continue testing to improve the safety and reliability of on-demand autonomous air transport.

The PAV prototype completed a controlled take-off, hover and landing during the flight, which tested the vehicle’s autonomous functions and ground control systems.

Future flights will test its forward wing-borne flight, as well as the transition phase between vertical and forward-flight modes.

This transition phase is usually the most significant engineering challenge for any high-speed VTOL aircraft.

Boeing chief technology officer Greg Hyslop (www.boeing.com) said: “In one year, we have progressed from a conceptual design to a flying prototype.

“Boeing’s expertise and innovation have been critical in developing aviation as the world’s safest and most-efficient form of transportation, and the company will continue to lead with a safe, innovative and responsible approach to new mobility solutions.”

Powered by an electric propulsion system, the 30ft-long and 28ft-wide PAV prototype is designed for fully autonomous flight from take-off to landing — with a range of up to 50 miles.

Its advanced airframe integrates the propulsion and wing systems to achieve efficient hover and forward flight.

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