Tech Transformers

Flying taxi to make first flight in 2018, says Airbus

Key Points
  • Airbus completes a major ground test of flying taxi.
  • "CityAirbus" is designed to carry 4 passengers.
  • Battery powered vehicle that can reach 80 mph.
Artist impression of the CityAirbus.
Source: Airbus

Airbus has said it remains on track to carry out the maiden flight of a "flying taxi" by the end of next year.

The aerospace giant confirmed the first flight target after its helicopter division successfully completed a full-scale ground test of a propulsion system for the "CityAirbus."

"We now have a better understanding of the performance of CityAirbus' innovative electric propulsion system, which we will continue to mature through rigorous testing while beginning the assembly of the full-scale CityAirbus flight demonstrator," Marius Bebesel, CityAirbus's chief engineer, said in a statement online Tuesday.

CityAirbus is described as a battery-powered air vehicle that is able to vertically take off and land.

The European aerospace company said it is designed to carry up to four passengers over congested areas to destinations such as airports or train stations.

The vehicle is slated to have a pilot onboard at first but would switch to full autonomous operations as and when technology developed.

Airbus added that the aircraft will operate on fixed routes with speeds up to 120 kph (80 mph).