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. HAI’s HELI-EXPO continues through tomorrow and Thursday at Anaheim Convention Center. https://www.rotor.org/home/heli-expo