Airbus A^3, the Silicon Valley-based division of the Airbus, has long been working on developing its eVTOL concept to improve air mobility for passengers in urban areas. Recently, they publicized reaching the 50 flight test milestone for their first full scale demonstrator, the Vahana Alpha One. Just earlier this week, Airbus AA3 released many more photos of its second demonstrator — named the Alpha Two — to accompany a first sneak peek seen during the publication of the Alpha One milestone.
“Here you’ll find a first-person perspective of what it might be like to take a seat under the canopy, be personally welcomed by Vahana’s screen, and see the horizon laid out in front of you as you prepare to take off.” Airbus A^3
Interestingly, there will not be a pilot in the cockpit in front of you when you’re on board the Alpha Two. Instead, just a single screen displaying the flight path ahead and an automated flight controls system with real-time autonomous decision-making capabilities. However, for now the Vahana full-scale demonstrator aircraft is remotely controlled in a configuration that the Silicon Valley division of Airbus is flight testing in Pendleton, Oregon.
The new demonstrator will join the first in flight testing at the airport in Pendleton, and also features a complete interior. Aside from enabling experimentation with passenger experience features in the interior, the Vahana Alpha Two also serves as a set of spares for anything that must be replaced on the anginal flight test aircraft, thereby improving the efficiency of the company’s test program. Airbus was generous enough to capture an array of impressive photos at dawn one morning to show us what they have conceived.
“You can just imagine getting to the vertiport for your quick trip to work” Airbus
Airbus also shared a close-up photo of the nose of the Alpha Two, which is loaded with autonomous safety systems able to sense and avoid obstacles in the air. For more photos, check out the A^3 by Airbus media page.
Why it’s important: A finished interior marks another milestone for the Airbus A^3 team, and permits further testing of how passengers will ergonomically integrate with the vehicle. Further, access to the second demonstrator aircraft is expected to accelerate development, such as in the flight control system that is responsible for smoothly transition from vertical to horizontal flight, as well as mitigating any eternal impulses.