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NASA begins flight tests on electric air taxis for the first time

Electric Air Taxi by NASA. Get details here…

Monday, 6th September 2021

NASA began flight testing of Joby Aviation's fully electric vertical take-off and landing aircraft (eVTOL) as part of the agency's National Advanced Air Mobility Campaign (AAM). The test program will take place at the Chobe Electric airbase near Big Sur, California, before September 10.


This is the first time that NASA has tested an eVTOL aircraft as part of this event. In the future, eVTOL aircraft can be used as air taxis in cities and surrounding areas across the country, adding another mode of transportation for the transportation of people and goods.


NASA's goal is to collect acoustic and aircraft performance data for modeling and simulation of future airspace concepts. The test will help identify gaps in current Federal Aviation Administration regulations and policies to help integrate AAM aircraft into the national airspace system. This multi-activity activity aimed at promoting maneuverability in US airspace will take place at multiple locations within a few years.


"The National Sports Development Test is an important strategic step for NASA to accelerate the AAM industry timeline goals," said Davis Hackenberg, NASA AAM Mission Integration Manager. "These test scenarios will help inform gaps in current standards and therefore facilitate industry progress in integrating AAM vehicles into airspace."


In this round of testing, NASA will collect data from Joby's eVTOL aircraft, which is designed for future commercial passenger service. The analysis of this data makes the AAM National Movement ready to carry out the first set of sports tests, called NC1, scheduled for 2022, with more complex flight scenarios and other industrial vehicles.


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During the Joby aircraft flight plan test scenario, the NASA team will gather information on how the vehicle moves, how it makes sounds, and how the vehicle communicates with the controller. Future partners will use similar scenarios to assess the readiness of their vehicles.


The team will deploy a mobile acoustic facility and build an array of more than 50 microphones to measure the acoustic profile of the Chobe aircraft at different stages of flight.


"NASA's National AAM Campaign is critical to promoting scientific understanding and public acceptance of eVTOL aircraft," said Joe Ben Bevirt, founder and CEO of Joby Aviation. "We are very proud to be able to work closely with NASA on an electric flight for the past 10 years and become the first eVTOL company to participate in this event."


Another element of the test includes establishing participation benchmarks to ensure external participation in NC1 Scope meets agreement for future testing. The team will also test NASA's airworthiness and flight safety procedures to approve participants to participate in the event.


After is fully integrated into the national airspace, AAM will provide an efficient and affordable system for passenger and cargo transportation and other public interest applications. The system can include aircraft such as package delivery drones, air taxis, and medical transport vehicles.


AAM is an aviation system that includes the development and deployment of aviation in innovative ways that are not common today. The National AAM Campaign is administered by NASA's Advanced Air Mobility project, which is planned to be a community catalyst for the development and verification of concepts and solutions at the AAM system level. The AAM project is part of the Agency’s Aviation Research Mission Council.


The News Talkie Bureau



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