The flying car was only recently only in the realms of science fiction but is now becoming a reality. Boeing is one of the leading companies in developing what are now known as electric air taxis. These autonomous, multi-rotor passenger air vehicles will revolutionize the way we travel.
Boeing looks to the future of urban mobility
Boeing’s flying taxi completed its first test flight in January 2019. Boeing subsidiary Aurora Flight Sciences is developing the autonomous, multi-rotor passenger air vehicle (PAV) as part of the Boeing NeXt urban air mobility program. PAV is an electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) aircraft designed to lead the next generation of on-demand mobility.
During the PAV maiden pilotless test flight, the aircraft successfully completed controlled takeoff, hover and landing. Aurora tested the vehicle’s autonomous functions and ground control systems.
The PAV is 30-feet long and 28-feet wide, and its advanced airframe features integrated propulsion and wing systems to enable efficient hovering and forward flight capabilities. It has eight propellors to give it lift for takeoff and landing, along with a rear propellor to provide forward speed. Designed for autonomous flight from takeoff to landing, its electric propulsion system gives it a range of up to 50 miles.
The Boeing NeXt program is working to advance the safety and reliability of on-demand autonomous air transportation. With the growth in this technology and the introduction of electric air taxis, an ecosystem where manned aircraft and autonomous air vehicles can safely coexist needs to be ensured.
Of the test flight, John Langford, president and chief executive officer of Aurora Flight Sciences, said,