Worldwide, we are seeing initiatives of flying cars or vehicles powered by electric energy and hydrogen, designed to take the skies. NASA, a world leader on innovations that have astonished mankind, is testing an electric cab with Joby Aviation.
The U.S. space agency is trying to close the project with three years of development. The vehicle is an all-electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) aircraft. It is powered by six rotors and claims to be quiet enough to not cause a nuisance over urban areas.
It has the capacity to carry four passengers at speeds of up to 350 kilometers per hour.
The vehicle has a flight range of more than 150 miles, a little more than 200 kilometers, a distance covered in one hour and 17 minutes.
It is expected that in the future, eVTOL airplanes may be used as air cabs for people in cities and surrounding areas, in order to have another mode of transportation to move people and goods, said the National Aeronautics and Space Agency on a press release.
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Joe Ben Bevirt, founder and CEO of Joby Aviation noted that NASA’s National AAM (Advanced Air Mobility) Campaign is essential to furthering scientific understanding and public acceptance of eVTOL aircraft.
During testing, engineers used a mobile acoustics facility comprised of more than 50 microphones to accurately measure noise emissions across different phases of flight.
“From day one, we have prioritized building an aircraft that not only has an extremely low noise profile, but one that blends seamlessly with the natural environment,” added Bevirt. “We have always believed that a minimal acoustic footprint is key for making aviation a convenient part of everyday movement while not compromising life quality,” he said.
For his part, Davis Hackenberg, NASA’s AAM mission integration manager explained that the National Campaign Development Test is an important, strategic step in the agency’s goals to accelerate the AAM industry’s timeline.
“These test scenarios will help inform the gaps in the current standards to benefit the industry’s progress on integrating AAM vehicles into aerospace,” he added.
Joby expects the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration to give them flight certification by 2023, and is confident that it will be able to begin service the following year.
Written by I Jhonattan González