A flying car prototype designed by Boeing passed its first flight test on Tuesday 22 January 2019. The aircraft took off, hovered and landed. The manufacturer announced the news while unveiling its future project for autonomous air taxis more widely.
The vehicle looks like a small, 9 m long, single-engine aircraft which has two skids equipped with several propellers that allow vertical take-off and landing, like many drones. It is an entirely autonomous air vehicle with a range of 80 km.
“This is what a revolution looks like”
Aurora Flight Sciences, a subsidiary of Boeing NeXt that develops urban air transport designed the vehicle. “In one year, we have gone from a concept to a flying prototype,” says Greg Hyslop, Chief Technology Officer at Boeing, in a statement. Further tests are planned to improve “safety and reliability for autonomous and on-demand air transport”.
“This is what a revolution looks like,” said John Langford, CEO of Aurora. “True autonomy will make it possible to provide quiet, clean and safe urban air transport. “Other companies are working on similar projects: Airbus and its Vahana prototype, which made its first flight in February 2018, Uber and Aston Martin. Many start-ups are also in the running.