Airbus Vahana Prepares for Test Flights

The VTOL aircraft is in its new home at the Eastern Oregon Regional Airport.

Airbus’ Vahana VTOL aircraft is at its new home at the Eastern Oregon Regional Airport, where it will be prepared for test flights.Airbus/A-cubed

Since its inception early last year, the goal for Airbus' Vahana project was to fly a full-size prototype of the VTOL aircraft by the end of this year, and have a "productizable demonstrator by 2020." This week, the A³ team took one step closer to that goal by moving the Vahana to its new home at the Pendleton Hangar, a brand-new 9,600-sq. ft. facility at the Eastern Oregon Regional Airport.

Prior to the move from the company's Santa Clara, California, headquarters (known as The Nest), Vahana received its "recognizable, colorful" vinyl wraps and employees said their goodbyes. "While it was hard to seemingly part with something that had been such a big part of everyday life at our headquarters," the company shared in a blog post, "we knew Vahana leaving The Nest meant a new phase of our journey: its first full-scale test flights."

One of the advantages of the Vahana is easy, rapid disassembly and re-assembly, a feat that the team was able to pull off in less than a day, something they expect to improve upon in the future.

“With this reassembly complete the team took part in another major milestone: installing the high voltage power system and the motors that will lift Vahana into its first test flights,” the post reads.