Vahana Soars in its First Fully Self-Piloted Flight

Vahana Soars in its First Fully Self-Piloted Flight

February 16, 2018


Jeff Mansur, Matt Deal, Kevin Goal, Don Blanton,
Jeff Mabry, Mark Jajeh


It was a historic day for Airbus, A³, and the Vahana team when Alpha One, the first full-scale aircraft lifted off on January 31, 2018 in Pendleton, Oregon. At 8:52AM Pacific Time the fully self-piloted vehicle reached a height of 5 meters (16 feet) before descending and landing safely. The vehicle completed a second flight the following day. In attendance was the full Vahana team, representatives from the FAA, and A³ leadership, all coming together to witness this historic accomplishment.

The first flight also marked the successful completion of significant milestones by Modern Technology Solutions, Inc. (MTSI) and its team of subcontractors supporting Vahana for the past 18 months.  Integrated directly with the experts at Vahana from early in the project, MTSI, a 100% employee-owned engineering services and technology solutions provider for the defense industry, intelligence community, and commercial markets, contributed to the vehicle reaching its first flight milestone by performing the following tasks:

  • Coordinated and presented a Safety Evaluation resulting the award of a Special Airworthiness Certificate – Experimental
  • Served as Test Director during flight and ground tests
  • Authored Flight Test Plans and Ground Test Plans that captured test objectives and test requirements for an evolving experimental platform
  • Authored the Flight Manual, Maintenance Program Manual, Vehicle Maintenance Logs, and Standard Operating Procedures for flight test
  • Design, assembly, installation, and programming of an instrumentation pallet monitoring critical subsystems with the assistance of Advanced Aircraft Equipment LLC and Adjutant Engineering LLC
  • Completion of Safety Review Boards for Test Range approval from NexGen UAS Range Management and the City of Pendleton, Oregon.

Vahana’s aim has long been to design and build a self-piloted, single passenger, all electric VTOL aircraft to answer the growing need for urban mobility. Its goal is to democratize personal flight by leveraging the latest technologies such as electric propulsion, energy storage, and machine vision. The first flights mark a huge milestone for Vahana as well as the global pursuit of urban air mobility.

MTSI will soon resume flight testing of Vahana and continue hover, transition, and cruise test profiles at the Pendleton UAS Test Range. For more information on openings MTSI currently has, company information, and benefits offered, please visit the MTSI Careers page and MTSI Vahana job opportunity listings.