Lilium - Point to point small air transport reinvigorated?

Homebuilt Aircraft & Kit Plane Forum

Help Support Homebuilt Aircraft & Kit Plane Forum:

Topaz

Super Moderator
Staff member
Log Member
Joined
Jul 29, 2005
Messages
14,751
Location
Orange County, California
A³ Vahana Is planning for November flight tests

The Airbus team A³, or A-cubed, based in Silicon Valley, plans to start flight tests of a prototype of its full-scale VTOL air-taxi, Vahana, in November, according to a report this week by KUOW. The flight tests will be conducted from the Eastern Oregon Regional Airport, in Pendleton, where the company recently occupied a new 9,600-square-foot hangar. The hangar has been specifically configured to support Vahana, according to the company’s blog. It was also announced this week that the aircraft will maneuver autonomously using a technology called Peregrine, according to a news release from Near Earth Autonomy, which developed the system. The onboard system uses lidar, inertial measurement and GPS sensors. When the aircraft is maneuvering close to the ground — lower than 65 feet — the system scans the ground in three dimensions, using lasers, to determine whether the site is safe for landing.

View attachment 65090
This one is a little more interesting, given that it's an Airbus project. Even if they're just doing it for some R&D and the PR value (Airbus seems to be do a lot of PR these days, see their near-takeover of the branding of the Perlan project), there's value in showing that it can be done. If nothing else, they'll give distributed propulsion a big boost.

A viable product that you'll be able to use ten years from now? Don't hold your breath.
 

Aesquire

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 28, 2014
Messages
2,958
Location
Rochester, NY, USA
After a season of hackers holding data hostage, and the fear that automobiles will be next, ( want to drive to work? pay me to unlock your car ) I'm skeptical of our Brave New World. ( and not just the genetic part )
Automated highways seem like death traps, and automated air traffic sounds like potential saturation bombing.

I admit there may be a gleam of paranoia shining it's light on my views, but as a Motorcycle rider and former hang glider pilot, ( knees ) it looks like the leaders of tech companies are pushing for a world that cannot tolerate people not under computer control.

A manned multi copter, not under Skynet's control seems like a really fun toy..... and the subject of serious ban legislation.

But what do I know? I still like lawn darts. ( and know they are just Roman infantry weapons for the kids in us all )
 

Skyrod

Active Member
Joined
Aug 15, 2008
Messages
33
Location
Titusville, Florida


I hear Amazons delivering strippers!? It looks fake, but search their other videos and you can see the young lady practicing.
These could be built for around 10 grand, I would make a few changes but looking forward to where these go in the next few years.
 
Last edited by a moderator:

Topaz

Super Moderator
Staff member
Log Member
Joined
Jul 29, 2005
Messages
14,751
Location
Orange County, California
What's interesting (aside from the eye-candy) is that this appears to be what could finally be called a practical working example of a human-carrying multi-copter. It had enough excess power to climb quickly and definitively, and control authority appeared to excellent. Most of the videos you see of this kind of craft barely stagger up into ground-effect, and then even the slightest breeze or upset takes forever to correct. This had none of those issues.

Wonder what the endurance really is?
 

BBerson

Light Plane Philosopher
HBA Supporter
Joined
Dec 16, 2007
Messages
15,236
Location
Port Townsend WA
I guess the application will be over water until a fail safe invention makes land flight practical.
 

BBerson

Light Plane Philosopher
HBA Supporter
Joined
Dec 16, 2007
Messages
15,236
Location
Port Townsend WA
Electric "jets" for VTOL is laughable.
There were no "electric jets" demonstrated at Oshkosh 2017.
Small diameter "jets" need vastly more energy than large fans. A fact these investors are apparently missing.
 

BBerson

Light Plane Philosopher
HBA Supporter
Joined
Dec 16, 2007
Messages
15,236
Location
Port Townsend WA
Maybe a tax right off.
I don't care if a billionaire loses money. As long as mom and pops mutual funds are not investing in this.
 
Last edited:

Topaz

Super Moderator
Staff member
Log Member
Joined
Jul 29, 2005
Messages
14,751
Location
Orange County, California
Got to be some kind of money laundering scheme!?
More likely well-intentioned but don't realize what they've gotten themselves into. Lots of enthusiasm, but too much flash and not enough full-on testing to be going this public yet. VTOL is hard. Electric VTOL is really hard.
 
Top