Boeing successfully completed the first test flight of its autonomous passenger air vehicle (PAV) prototype in Manassas, Virginia. Boeing NeXt, which leads the company’s urban air mobility efforts, used Boeing subsidiary Aurora Flight Sciences to design and develop the electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) aircraft and 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. Future flights will test forward, wing-borne flight, as well as the transition phase between vertical and forward-flight modes. This transition phase is typically the most significant engineering challenge for any high-speed VTOL aircraft.
“In one year, we have progressed from a conceptual design to a flying prototype,” said Boeing Chief Technology Officer Greg Hyslop. “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.”
The prototype is designed for fully autonomous flight from takeoff to landing and has a range of up to 50 miles (80.47 kilometers). Measuring 30 feet (9.14 meters) long and 28 feet (8.53 meters) wide, its advanced airframe integrates the propulsion and wing systems to achieve efficient hover and forward flight.
The test flight represents the latest milestone for Boeing NeXt. The division 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 coexist. 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 (226.80 kilograms) 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.
Brian Wang is a Futurist Thought Leader and a popular Science blogger with 1 million readers per month. His blog Nextbigfuture.com is ranked #1 Science News Blog. It covers many disruptive technology and trends including Space, Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, Medicine, Anti-aging Biotechnology, and Nanotechnology.
Known for identifying cutting edge technologies, he is currently a Co-Founder of a startup and fundraiser for high potential early-stage companies. He is the Head of Research for Allocations for deep technology investments and an Angel Investor at Space Angels.
A frequent speaker at corporations, he has been a TEDx speaker, a Singularity University speaker and guest at numerous interviews for radio and podcasts. He is open to public speaking and advising engagements.
15 thoughts on “Boeing Flew an Electric VTOL Passenger Drone Which Would Become Personal Flying Machines”
Hey, whatever happened to liquid metal batteries? They sounded amazing… (2016 video)
Very amazing this is, great to see innovation on a global scale!
wow, looks like you’re watching a little too much American mainstream Bud. Just because a nation chooses to not be told what to do hardly makes them a bad actor. Interesting that you don’t lump China in, will have to look at more of your posts. Agree though we are heading electric and if the US doesn’t want to assist take the least resistant path. Good business sense for sure. Don’t be surprised to see a factory in Russia soon enough. Wages are low and I can’t see this good actor putting lead in their foot if offered.
It’s OK we’re all monkeys each with different levels of intelligence as we discover when reading these posts.
Doesn’t Tesla share its patents nothing to steal, the way it should be. Patents are like walls you put them up when you lose your desire and stamina to innovate and stay ahead.
So Musk succumbed and sold out to China. Disappointing.
Thats how its done, ofcourse you should give special treatment to important projects that bring enormous cash and jobs.
Its only in the west where its competition based or it seems competition based, many times preferential treatment is given to companies in the west that lobby or pay politicians to do so
“864,885-square meter plot of land without any rival bidders”
don’t count on a local bakery to bid.
So, the Chinese government gives special consideration to some companies but not others, essentially picking winners and losers? The Chinese government owns the construction company which gets to rewrite and waive laws that all other companies that are not state owned have to follow?
Russian troll stop calling other people monkeys and maybe others will start treating you better. Also, sole ownership by Tesla means Tesla better able to protect company secrets in contrast to the previous experience in China by others..
Chinese government helping tesla is a great news for both as well as global ecology and economy except a few states such as Russia, Iran and Saudies. But nothing good ever comes out of those “bad actors” so better if they get less money. The faster we transition to decarbonized transport the better for all involved on this planet.
Wow, that is a huge plot of land. Very exiting stuff… Please keep the updates coming. Same as with BFR.
Nothing is “rising” yet…can we at least wait a month or 2 before an update, I couldn’t care less about them doing the dirt work, for any building, anywhere on Earth.
It looks like a growing sore… everything there will be copied by the monkeys to the smallest screw.
You make a critical point almost in passing. Tesla can duplicate the German assembly line and send it over. Any bets as to it being on a ship right now?
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