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Boeing’s Unmanned Passenger Vehicle Completes First Flight

Boeing unmanned passenger air vehicle

Boeing recently completed the first flight for its new unmanned passenger air vehicle (PAV). Boeing is attempting to take a market lead in emerging autonomous transportation and urban mobility.

The first test flight of the PAV included a controlled takeoff, hover and landing and took place in Manassas, VA. The test verified the vehicle’s autonomous functions and ground control systems.

The PAV is one of two vehicles Boeing is developing – the other unmanned vehicle is the autonomous all-electric cargo air vehicle (CAV) which is designed to transport 500 pounds of cargo with a radius of 20 miles.

The passenger air vehicle (PAV) is an air-taxi concept demonstrator and is powered by an electric propulsion system with a range up to 50 miles.

“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.”

Boeing NeXt

The new autonomous transportation and urban mobility are part of Boeing NeXt, which was recently launched by Boeing to consolidate the companies development efforts in autonomous flight and advanced propulsion.

Boeing acquired Aurora Flight Sciences in October 2017 and rolled the company into the new NeXt program. Aurora Flight Sciences provided significant help in designing and developing the electric VTOL aircraft.

Greg started his professional pilot journey in 2002 after graduating from Embry Riddle. Since that time he has accumulated over 8,000 hours working as a pilot. Greg’s professional experience includes flight instructing, animal tracking, backcountry flying, forest firefighting, passenger charter, part 135 cargo, flying for a regional airline, a national low cost airline, a legacy airline, and also working as a manager in charge of Part 135 and Part 121 training programs.

Greg Thomson