Boeing Company on Tuesday successfully completed the first test flight of its autonomous passenger air vehicle (PAV) prototype in Manassas, U.S. state of Virginia, the Chicago-based plane-maker said in a statement Wednesday.
The PAV prototype completed a controlled takeoff, hover and landing during the flight. Powered by an electric propulsion system, it is designed for fully autonomous flight from takeoff to landing, with a range of up to 50 miles (about 80.47 km).
“In one year, we have progressed from a conceptual design to a flying prototype,” said Boeing Chief Technology Officer Greg Hyslop.The test flight represents the latest milestone for Boeing NeXt, which leads Boeing’s urban air mobility efforts.
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 (about 227 kg). Having completed its first indoor flight in 2018, the CAV will transition to outdoor flight testing this year.”We will unlock the potential of the urban air mobility market,” said Steve Nordlund, vice president and general manager of Boeing NeXt.