Aurora Flight Sciences, a Boeing subsidiary, has successfully completed the first tests of its first unmanned flying electric vehicle.
During testing, the autonomous vehicle took off vertically and hovered for a few seconds. The next tests will include forward movement, maneuvering with the use of wings, as well as the transition between vertical and horizontal flight modes.
According to representatives of the company, the created prototype is equipped with an electric motor and is designed for a completely unmanned flight, from takeoff to self-landing. Width «flying car» reaches 9.14 m, and the length – 8.53 m, the presence of wings allows gliding in the air, which increases efficiency. The current battery is enough to fly 80.5 km.
In addition to Boeing, a dozen other companies are working on such devices, but the aerospace giant has all the necessary resources and engineering potential to release the first commercial product. The problem with flying taxis is consumption huge amount of energy to move, and modern technology energy storage simply cannot provide the required power-to-weight ratio. This reduces efficiency and increases operating costs..
Maiden Flight of Boeing Loyal Wingman Uncrewed Aircraft
Despite the attempts of many large companies to create their own version of the car of the future, which will allow you to avoid traffic jams and quickly get to your destination, experts believe that this requires years or even decades of advances in technology. Although, according to forecasts of analysts at Morgan Stanley by 2040, the value of this market even according to pessimistic estimates, it will be $ 615 billion, and under optimal conditions it will be able to reach $ 2.9 trillion.
A group of companies led by Rolls-Royce are also planning introduce electric motors into aviation. By 2020, they plan to build the fastest all-electric propeller aircraft to date, capable of over 480 km / h..
text: Ilya Bauer, photo: Boeing