Boeing has completed the maiden flight test of its autonomous passenger air vehicle (PAV) prototype in Manassas, Virginia, US.

The PAV is part of the Boeing NeXt, which collaborates with regulatory agencies and industry partners to introduce a new mobility ecosystem and ensure safe co-existence of autonomous and piloted air vehicles.

As part of the programme, Boeing subsidiary Aurora Flight Sciences has designed and developed the electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) aircraft.

During the test, the PAV prototype completed a controlled take-off, hover and landing to validate its autonomous functions and ground control systems.

In future, Boeing is expected to test forward, wing-borne flight, and the transition phase between vertical and forward-flight modes of the PAV.

“In one year, we have progressed from a conceptual design to a flying prototype.”

With a range of up to 80.47km, the 30ft-long and 28ft-wide PAV prototype is powered by an electric propulsion system and capable of conducting a fully autonomous flight from take-off to landing.

Boeing chief technology officer Greg Hyslop said: “In one year, we have progressed from a conceptual design to a flying prototype.

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“Boeing’s expertise and innovation have been critical in developing aviation as the world’s safest and most efficient form of transportation, and we will continue to lead with a safe, innovative and responsible approach to new mobility solutions.”

The Boeing NeXt portfolio also includes the development of an unmanned fully electric cargo air vehicle (CAV) that can carry up to 226.80kg of payload, as well as other urban, regional and global mobility solutions.

The CAV completed its first indoor flight last year and is scheduled to undergo an outdoor flight testing phase this year.