National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has recently started testing the electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) aircrafts-known as “flying cars,” in collaboration with Joby Aviation.
Joby Aviation, formed in 2009, manufactures all-electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) aircraft with the goal of transporting up to four people and a pilot from point A to point B in the sky at the same time. The test flights are part of a NASA-led nationwide programme to watch these experimental planes in operation and assess if they are safe to fly.
NASA, on the other hand, will not be a bystander when Joby’s six-rotor aircraft whizzes through the skies. “Vehicle performance and acoustic data for use in modeling and simulation of future airspace concepts,” it’s what the agency will be collecting.
To put it another way, it will closely analyze the aircraft’s sound profile to evaluate how it compares to helicopters and other gas-powered vehicles. The fact that eVTOL planes are considerably quieter than helicopters makes them ideal for flights in overcrowded areas.
While conducting the test, NASA says the team will, “collect information about how the vehicle moves, how the vehicle sounds, and how the vehicle communicates with controllers.” In the future, the government wants to perform similar testing with other eVTOL businesses.
NASA will also provide guidance to the FAA as it draughts new guidelines for electric air taxis like Joby. According to Davis Hackenberg, NASA’s national campaign 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,” says NASA AAM mission integration manager. Of course, NASA is responsible for encouraging the development of sophisticated aviation technology, but the FAA is responsible for drafting the laws that will govern their flights and commercial operations. But there’s a lot of turbulence along the way.
Uber had already inked data-sharing agreements with the space agency in conjunction with the ride-hailing company’s initial air taxi plans, which never materialized. In return for a $75 million investment in Joby, the firm handed up its eVTOL subsidiary, Uber Elevate, last year.
Joby and other eVTOL firms want to gain FAA certification in the future, but the process is expected to be lengthy. The FAA is expected to issue certification to an eVTOL business in five years or longer, according to some experts. Joby plans to start its first air taxi service in 2024, according to its website.