Tuesday, January 28, 2020 Anaheim, CA
Helicopter Association Intl HELI EXPO
By Edward Story, VP Eco-Aviation Foundation Intl
We had the opportunity to talk with Herve Hilaire, Vahana Project Manager for the Airbus A3 (A-cubed) VAHANA Demonstrator, today at the Helicopter Association International HELI-EXPO in Anaheim. Herve is based in Silicon Valley.
The Vahana is a self-piloted, one seat (unoccupied), eVTOL demonstrator. It has a tested range of 50 km or 31 miles. The configuration is a tandem tilt-wing.
It is intended to fly a single passenger or cargo along a predetermined flight path.
Maximum takeoff weight (MTOW) is 1600 lb with a payload of 220 lb. There are eight (8) electric motors of 45 kw apiece (approximately 60 hp) fitted with 3 blade, variable pitch propellers. About one-third of the mass is occupied with batteries (272 kg or 600 lb).
Total flight time on this concept demonstrator is 13.4 hours over 138 flights. Total distance flow is 903 km or 487 nautical miles. The longest flight was a little over 27 nautical miles and the endurance on that flight was just short of 20 minutes.
The sensor suite utilizes cameras, Lidar and Radar. The sensors are visible on the nose of the craft.
The Vahana has a crash designed seat and a ballistic parachute.
This concept demonstrator is being retired. So it may be your last chance to see it. HAIs HELI-EXPO continues through tomorrow and Thursday at Anaheim Convention Center. https://www.rotor.org/home/heli-expo