Updated: Feb 24
Boeing recently took a step toward the vision of the future full of autonomous passenger drones when it announced that it successfully completed a test flight of its prototype PAV (Passenger Air Vehicle) in Manassas, Virginia. During the flight, the electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) completed a controlled take-off, hover and landing. The vehicle uses multiple horizontal propellers to provide vertical flight, while forward flight is accomplished by a single large rear propeller. Stubby wings allow the PAV to take advantage of lift, so that it doesn't have to rely exclusively on its propellers to stay aloft at speed. Its airframe integrates the propulsion and wing systems to achieve efficient hover and forward flight. Designed by Boeing subsidiary Aurora Flight Sciences and under the auspices of Boeing NeXt, PAV measures 9.12 meters long and 8.5 meters wide. It’s designed for fully autonomous flight from take-off to landing with a range of up to 80 km (50 miles). Boeing is also developing and autonomous Cargo Air Vehicle (CAV) designed to carry 225 kg loads up-to 20 miles.