Airbus A3 UAS from Concept to Flight in Two Years
A3, the Airbus ‘innovation outpost’ in Silicon Valley, successfully completed the first full-scale test flight of VAHANA, its all-electric, self-piloted VTOL UAS in Pendleton, OR on 31 January. The fully self-piloted flight, lasting 53s during which the aircraft achieved a height of 5m before safely descending, was followed by a second flight the next day. The team will now turn to additional testing, including transitions and forward flight.
A3 in Silicon Valley enables Airbus access to unique talent and ideas, new partnership opportunities, and execution at speed. VAHANA aims to democratise personal flight and answer the growing need for urban mobility by leveraging the latest technologies in electric propulsion, energy storage, and machine vision.
“Today we are celebrating a great accomplishment in aerospace innovation. 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,” commented VAHANA Project Executive Zach Lovering. “VAHANA’s first flight demonstrates Airbus’ unique ability to pursue ambitious ideas quickly, without compromising the quality and safety for which the company is well-known. For A3, it proves that we can deliver meaningful innovation with aggressive project timetables, to provide a real competitive advantage for Airbus,” added Rodin Lyasoff, A3 CEO.