What sounds like a far-off vision for the future will soon be reality: Airbus is building an ultra-light air taxi that can carry one person. The passenger summons the aircraft by app and flies to the destination in the single-seating. It can even take off from the roof of a highrise building.
Like a helicopter, Vahana is propped up on two runners and can take off and land vertically. The aircraft has eight motors, which produce 45 kilowatts each, making it much quieter than a helicopter. The person-carrying drone can reach a top speed of 175 kilometers per hour and is 5.7 meters long, 6.2 meters wide with a takeoff load of 745 kilograms.
“Alpha One” has already taken to the skies. At the end of January 2018, the protoype successfully carried out its maiden flight. The octocopter, weighing just under 800 kilometers, completed flew five meters in a 53-second flight. The goal is for Vahana to be ready for series production by 2020 to meet the demand for new mobility options in the city.