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Airbus releases video of unmanned flying taxi flight

Toulouse-based aircraft giant Airbus has unveiled the first images of its new unmanned, flying taxi project, in a video showing the model’s maiden flight.

Dubbed the Vahana Aero project, the taxi is self-piloting and powered by electricity.

The current prototype, named AlphaOne, successfully completed its first 53-second-long test flight in Pendleton, Oregon, USA, at the end of January.

Now, a video of that flight has been released by Zach Lovering, head of Vahana Aero.

It also features some behind-the-scenes footage of the aircraft’s creation, and is intended to “celebrate all the hard work” of the “team behind this project, and the elegance of the aircraft itself”, writes Lovering on the Vahana website.

“During our minute-long flight, the primary battery system used about 8% of its total energy, demonstrating that the vehicle is capable of much more,” Lovering added.

The project originally began in January 2016, and has been created by development agency A3 (“A Cubed”), the innovation division that Airbus has installed in its California offices.

Airbus, best-known for its commercial jets such as the A320 and the “double-decker” A380, has its headquarters and head office in Toulouse, near the Toulouse-Blagnac airport, as well as divisions in Paris and abroad.

In addition to commercial planes, the global company also researches and manufactures aircraft across the military, defence and space sectors.

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