Aurora Flight Sciences, a subsidiary of aerospace giant Boeing, said Wednesday that it recently conducted the first test flight of its all-electric autonomous passenger air vehicle. The unpiloted vehicle took off vertically, hovered for a few seconds, and then landed at the company’s test site in Manassas, Virginia. Boeing said that future flights will test forward, wing-borne flight, as well as the transition phase between vertical and forward-flight modes.
It’s a significant step toward a future in which autonomous, electric “flying taxis” zip from skyscraper to skyscraper, bearing passengers and cargo in service of an entirely new form of urban mobility. Boeing is just one of dozens of companies that are pursuing some form of urban air taxi service, but as one of the largest aviation companies in the world, clearly it has the resources and the engineering prowess to get something in the air sooner than later.
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