Vahana’s First Flight a Success

Today marks a historic day for Acubed by Airbus and the Vahana team. We can now announce our successful first flight. At 8:52AM on January 31, 2018 in Pendleton, Oregon, our full-scale aircraft, dubbed Alpha One, reached a height of 5 meters (16 feet) before descending safely. Its first flight, with a duration of 53 seconds, was fully self-piloted and the vehicle completed a second flight the following day. In attendance was the full Vahana team, representatives from the FAA, and Acubed leadership, all coming together to witness this historic accomplishment.

Our aim has long been to design and build a single passenger electric VTOL self-piloted aircraft that will answer the growing need for urban mobility. Our goal is to democratize personal flight by leveraging the latest technologies such as electric propulsion, energy storage, and machine vision. Our first flights mark a huge milestone for Vahana as well as the global pursuit of urban air mobility.

Vahana’s First Flight

After two years of planning and building, we are thrilled to see our efforts culminate in successful flight. It’s thanks to the perseverance and dedication of our brilliant people and partners — including the Pendleton UAS Range and MTSI — as well as our extended Airbus family, that we can celebrate today. Getting Vahana to this point, and at this pace, has tested our ingenuity and our resolve. Tomorrow we’ll start on the next steps of our journey.

Following the completion of this successful test, the Vahana team will continue development and perform further flight tests to transition and forward flight. We also have identified a new partner for our motors, MAGicALL. The California-based company designs and manufactures custom, cutting-edge components (motors, generators, inductors, transformers, etc.) with impressive performance on rapid and affordable delivery schedules. We will begin using the MAGicALL motors soon, and will provide additional technical details and insight. We’re excited to continue with this project and look ahead to celebrating future milestones together.

Specifications for the Vahana test aircraft flown on January 31, 2018 are as follows:

  • Width: 6.2 m / 20.3 ft
  • Length: 5.7 m / 18.7 ft
  • Height: 2.8 m / 9.2 ft
  • Takeoff Weight: 745 kg / 1642 lb

- Zach Lovering