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Project Vahana: The secret takes flight

Vahana, photo via Airbus

PENDLETON, Oregon – A3 by Airbus lifted the cloak of secrecy around Project Vahana, releasing a video of the prototype pilotless taxi taking its first steps toward a working reality at the Pendleton Unmanned Aircraft System Test Range not long ago. Local economic expert Art Hill says it wasn’t just local news that took note when Vahana was tested.

“It was also reported around the world by major public and industry media including CNN, Newsweek, Aviation Today, Silicon Valley Business Journal, and even the Times of India,” he said.

While industry secrets are a necessity as companies work to develop cutting-edge UAS technology, revealing that the craft is being brought to maturity in Pendleton is a big step forward for the test range in Hill’s eyes.

“It identifies Pendleton as a flight research center for Airbus,” he said. “It documents the advanced capability of our range. It puts other companies in the industry on notice that we’re open for their business.”

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