Autonomous passanger air vehicle (PAV) prototype of Boeing completed its first flight, which consisted of a controlled takeoff, hover and landing. The test flight took place on Tuesday in Manassas, Va.
Boeing NeXt, which leads the company’s urban air mobility efforts, worked with Boeing subsidiary Aurora Flight Sciences to design and develop the electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) aircraft. Tuesday’s test verified the vehicle’s autonomous functions and ground control systems.
“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 we will continue to lead with a safe, innovative and responsible approach to new mobility solutions.” -said Greg Hyslop, the Chief Technology Officer of Boeing.
Future flights will test forward, wing-borne flight, and also the transition between vertical and forward-flight mode, since this phase is probably the most significant engineering challenge for any high-speed VTOL aircraft.
“Since the beginning of flight, Boeing has pioneered hundreds of commercial airplanes, defense aircraft, spacecraft, integrated systems and more. Congratulations to the teams whose hard work and dedication make these test flights a reality—I look forward to the many exciting milestones that lie ahead.” -said Dennis Muilenburg, Boeing Chairman, President and CEO.
Boeing NeXt works with regulatory agencies and industry partners to lead the responsible introduction of a new mobility ecosystem and ensure a future where autonomous and piloted air vehicles safely co-exist.