Boeing has completed its first air passenger taxi test flight in Manassas, Virginia.
Boeing NeXt, which leads the company’s urban air mobility efforts, worked with Boeing subsidiary Aurora Flight Sciences to design and develop the eVTOL aircraft and said it will continue testing to advance the safety and reliability of on-demand autonomous air transportation.
The PAV prototype completed a controlled takeoff, hover and landing during the flight, which tested the vehicle’s autonomous functions and ground control systems.
Boeing went on to confirm how future flights will test forward, wing-borne flight, as well as the transition phase between vertical and forward-flight modes.
Boeing’s chief technology officer, Greg Hyslop, 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 we will continue to lead with a safe, innovative and responsible approach to new mobility solutions.”
Powered by an electric propulsion system, the PAV prototype is designed for fully autonomous flight from takeoff to landing and has a range of up to 50 miles.
Measuring 30 feet in length and 28 feet wide, its advanced airframe integrates the propulsion and wing systems to achieve efficient hover and forward flight.
In addition to the PAV, the Boeing NeXt portfolio includes an unmanned fully electric cargo air vehicle (CAV) designed to transport up to 500 pounds and other urban, regional and global mobility platforms.
The CAV completed its first indoor flight last year and will transition to outdoor flight testing in 2019.
Steve Nordlund, vice president and general manager of Boeing NeXt, added: “Boeing was there when the aviation industry was born and in our second century, we will unlock the potential of the urban air mobility market.”
He concluded: “From building air vehicles to airspace integration, we will usher in a future of safe, low-stress mobility in cities and regions around the world.”
Watch the video Boeing released on Twitter here:
BREAKING: It’s another first for us. Along with @AuroraFlightSci we’ve successfully tested our passenger air vehicle. We continue our progress towards a safe and sustainable urban mobility ecosystem. #TheFutureIsBuiltHere pic.twitter.com/hwuw4d5jmz
— The Boeing Company (@Boeing) January 23, 2019