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.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.
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Very good for them. Call me when they have a working manned prototype that can fly out of ground-effect. Moller has been "funded" for decades, and still can't meet my simple challenge.
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.Got to be some kind of money laundering scheme!?