Boeing has announced that on 22 January it successfully completed the first test flight of its autonomous passenger air vehicle (PAV) prototype in Manassas, Virginia.
Powered by an electric propulsion system, the PAV prototype is designed for fully autonomous flight from take-off to landing, with a range of up to 43 nm. Measuring 9.14 metres long and 8.53 meters wide, its airframe integrates the propulsion and wing systems to achievehover and forward flight.
During the test, PAV prototype completed a controlled take-off, hover and landing, which tested the vehicle's autonomous functions and ground control systems. Future flights will test forward, wing-borne flight, as well as the transition phase between vertical and forward-flight modes.
"In one year, we have progressed from a conceptual design to a flying prototype," said Boeing Chief Technology Officer Greg Hyslop. "Boeing's expertise and innovation have been critical in developing aviation as the world's safest and most efficient form of transportation, and we will continue to lead with a safe, innovative and responsible approach to new mobility solutions."
The PAV is being developed by Boeing's Boeing NeXt division, which works with regulatory agencies and industry partners to introduce a new mobility ecosystem where autonomous and piloted air vehicles safely coexist.
In addition to the PAV, the Boeing NeXt portfolio includes an unmanned fully electric cargo air vehicle (CAV) designed to transport up to 227 kg and other urban, regional and global mobility platforms