Vahana Project ramping up for flight tests

The new year has brought new progress to the Vahana Project, a self-piloted, electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) passenger aircraft that is being developed by the Silicon Valley outpost of Airbus.

Vahana eVTOL aircraft on the test pad in Pendleton, Oregon. Vahana Project Photo
Vahana eVTOL aircraft on the test pad in Pendleton, Oregon. Vahana Project Photo
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The development of Vahana is advancing to the flight test stage, with the first flight targeted to take place at the Pendleton UAS Test Range in Oregon.

“In less than two years, Vahana has gone from a sketch on a napkin to a full-size vehicle about to undertake its first round of flight testing,” said Zach Lovering, Vahana Project executive, in a blog post published Jan. 25.

While the aircraft’s original first flight was scheduled for the last quarter of 2017, the Airbus team decided to slightly delay its original goal for the sake of the aircraft and personal safety.

Lovering said the team is dedicated to providing safe and reliable flight to its customers, and would have rather experienced a delay now than compromise its long-term development plan.

Vahana returning to the hangar after wrapping up ground tests. Vahana Project Photo
Vahana returning to the hangar after wrapping up ground tests. Vahana Project Photo

The team behind the Vahana Project was able to initiate ground testing by the last quarter of 2017, which included powering up all motors, with all ground test points being completed.

More updates on the Vahana Project are expected to come in mis-February on the Vahana blog.

“We all knew that designing and building this revolutionary vehicle would take time, ingenuity, and the perfect combination of patience and hustle from all parties involved,” said Lovering.

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