The competition is heating up in the area of self-supporting flying taxis. The most recent leap forward is done by Airbus and A³ with the first triumphant, full-scale test flight of its sole passenger, self-piloted, electric powered VTOL aircraft known as Vahana.
The Vahana development is comparatively new in comparison to much of its competitors with Airbus only releasing the mission two short years ago. To shift from idea sketch on a napkin to a functioning prototype in such a limited time is undoubtedly a remarkable success.
The full-scale jet tested was named Alpha One, and its very first flight was fully self-piloted, running 53 seconds and attaining a cautious elevation of 5 m (16 feet). The test aircraft measured 5.7 meters long, 6.2 meters wide and 2 .8 meter high and had a takeoff weight of 745 kilograms. The following stages of testing come with switching over from vertical to forward flight.
There are unquestionably many obstacles, both technically and regulatory, that must be solved before such things are set loose in the airspace over our metropolitan areas, but the speed of growth observed in the Vahana, among others, is truly surprising. So much so, it is not irrational to expect to see self-supporting flying taxis in our heavens within the next 10 years.