Vahana is an all-electric, single-seat, tilt-wing vehicle demonstrator that focused on advancing self-piloted, electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) flight.
From sketch to reality
In less than two years, Vahana went from a sketch on a napkin to a full-scale flying aircraft. The eight electric motors and tandem tilt-wing configuration enabled Vahana to achieve both vertical take-off and landing, as well as cross-city flight range on battery power alone. In total, Vahana has flown over 138 full-scale test flights.
The next generation of urban air mobility vehicles
In November 2019, Vahana took its final test flight at the Pendleton UAS Range in Oregon, USA, bringing the flagship programme to a close. The team tackled three main objectives, all of which were completed over the course of the project.
- All-electric vertical flight: The project team architected an all-electric propulsion system for a tilt-wing aircraft configuration. The flight testing programme culminated in over 13 hours of flight time, totalling almost 500 nautical miles.
- Autonomy: The project team de-risked the core elements of autonomy, including real-time, detect-and-avoid capabilities for both airborne and ground-based hazards.
- eVTOL business case: Vahana offered rich learnings on the total operating costs of and certification requirements for eVTOLs, all of which is critical for creating a compelling business case.
All of these learnings will be applied to the next iteration of urban mobility vehicles at Airbus.