Boeing’s autonomous passenger air vehicle (PAV) prototype, developed under the Boeing NeXt programme, has successfully completed its first test flight in Manassas, Virginia, the company announced on 23 January.
The electric VTOL aircraft prototype has been designed and developed by Boeing’s subsidiary Aurora Flight Sciences.
During the flight, which tested the vehicle’s autonomous functions and ground control systems, the PAV prototype completed a controlled take-off, hover and landing. Future flights will test forward, wing-borne flight, as well as the transition phase between vertical and forward-flight modes.
The prototype is 30ft in length and 28ft in width. Its advanced airframe integrates the propulsion and wing systems to achieve efficient hover and forward flight. It is powered by electric propulsion system and has been designed for fully autonomous flight with a range of up to 50 miles (80.47km).
Boeing NeXt works with regulatory agencies and industry partners to lead the responsible introduction of a new mobility ecosystem and ensure a future where autonomous and piloted air vehicles safely co-exist.