Airbus’ ‘flying taxi’ isn’t much to look at, but it’s a major step toward electric flight

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Last month, the aerospace giant Airbus made the first successful test flight of its Vahana electric plane for vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL). At that time, Airbus only provided still photos to demonstrate its claim of 53 seconds of stationary flight. But now we have a video, and … yep, there are only 53 seconds of stationary flight left.
At first glance, there is not much to look at: an egg-shaped cabin perched on landing pads with eight rotors and wings that lean up or forward for a vertical or horizontal flight. It's the kind of thing that a lot of people would dismiss as an up-jump drone, or a very confusing helicopter. But the Alpha One prototype is a big difference from the traditional Airbus aircraft line. And with a fully electric motor, it represents a beautiful …

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