Inside Airbus’s mad dash to get a robo air taxi off the ground

At a remote test facility in northeast Oregon. an improbable-looking plane takes flight. Its wings are perpendicular to the ground, with their propellers—a whopping eight of them—spinning like the rotors of a helicopter. There is no pilot. The oddball craft, called Vahana, ascends 16 feet above the tarmac in a wobbly fashion, hovers briefly, then returns to the ground, guided throughout by its autonomous flight system.

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Inside Airbus’s mad dash to get a robo air taxi off the ground

At a remote test facility in northeast Oregon. an improbable-looking plane takes flight. Its wings are perpendicular to the ground, with their propellers—a whopping eight of them—spinning like the rotors of a helicopter. There is no pilot. The oddball craft, called Vahana, ascends 16 feet above the tarmac in a wobbly fashion, hovers briefly, then returns to the ground, guided throughout by its autonomous flight system.

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