• Thursday, Sep 29, 2022
  • Last Update : 09:54 am

Nasa starts testing electric air taxi in California

  • Published at 11:33 am September 4th, 2021
Nasa air taxi

In the future, eVTOL aircraft could serve as air taxis in cities and surrounding areas providing a quicker mode of transportation

In a major development, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (Nasa) has begun testing an all-electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) aircraft— colloquially referred to as “flying cars”-- with Joby Aviation to serve as an air taxi. 

This move is basically the American space agency’s a bid to add another mode of transportation for moving people and goods, reports NDTV. 

It is the first time that Nasa has carried out a test on an eVTOL aircraft as part of its Advanced Air Mobility (AAM) National Campaign. The agency will continue the testing till September 10, at Joby's Electric Flight Base located near Big Sur, California.

In the future, eVTOL aircraft could serve as air taxis in cities and surrounding areas providing a quicker mode of transportation. As a part of the program, Nasa will majorly focus on collecting vehicle performance and acoustic data from Joby's eVTOL aircraft which is intended to serve as a commercial passenger service in the future.

Analysing that data prepares the AAM National Campaign to execute the first set of campaign tests, known as NC-1, slated for next year with more complex flight scenarios and other vehicles. Moreover, this multi-event campaign to advance airspace mobility in the US will happen at several locations over the next few years.

Davis Hackenberg, Nasa AAM mission integration manager said:"The National Campaign Developmental Testing is an important strategic step in NASA's goals to accelerate the AAM industry timeline. 

"These testing scenarios will help inform gaps in current standards to benefit the industry's progress of integrating AAM vehicles into the airspace," he concluded.

The team will install the mobile acoustics facility and construct an array of over 50 microphones to record the acoustic profile of Joby's aircraft in different phases of flight.

JoeBen Bevirt, founder and CEO of Joby Aviation said that Nasa's AAM National Campaign is critical to driving scientific understanding and public acceptance of eVTOL aircraft. 

"We're incredibly proud to have worked closely with Nasa on an electric flight over the past ten years and to be the first eVTOL company to fly as part of the campaign," he added.

Another element of the flight testing includes ensuring external ranges participating in NC-1 meet the protocols for future testing. The team will also test Nasa's flight safety and airworthiness processes to approve participants to fly in the campaign. 

When fully integrated into the airspace, AAM will provide an affordable system for passenger and cargo transportation and other applications in the public interest. It could include aircraft like package delivery drones, air taxis and medical transport vehicles.

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