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NASA Starts Testing Joby eVTOL Aircraft to Help Advance Airspace Mobility in the U.S.

Joby Aviation's electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) aircraft began flight testing on Monday, August 30th, as part of NASA's Advanced Air Mobility (AAM) National Campaign. This is the first time NASA will test an air taxi as part of the campaign, and it represents a significant step in the U.S. efforts to improve airspace mobility.
Joby eVTOL 7 photos
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In the future, eVTOL aircraft could operate as air taxis and carry people or cargo, providing a much faster means of transportation. The goal is to connect megacities with suburbs and cut down the time spent in traffic. Joby has been testing its air taxi since 2017, and it already plans to operate a commercial passenger service starting in 2024.

Its aircraft boats a range of 150 miles (241 km) and a top speed of 200 mph (322 kph). It is also capable of carrying four people and a pilot. This is the first time the air taxi's performance is put to the test by NASA.

The space agency will collect data during this first round of testing that will be used in the simulation and modeling of future airspace concepts. This test will also play a significant role in the identification of gaps in current Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) regulations, which will help in the integration of AAM aircraft into the National Airspace System.

It's a multi-event campaign that aims to advance airspace mobility in the U.S. The campaign will span over several years and will take place in different locations. The AAM National Campaign will use that data to prepare for the first round of campaign testing, dubbed NC-1, which will take place in 2022 and include more complex flight scenarios and other aircraft.

NASA will collect data on how the Joby eVTOL moves, sounds, and communicates with operators as it flies through pre-programmed test scenarios. NASA engineers will use their Mobile Acoustics Facility and more than 50 microphones to monitor the Joby aircraft's sound emissions.

These measurements, combined with the noise profile of urban areas, can be used to confirm how proposed aircraft operations will blend in with the existing background noise. Joby has already released a series of clips demonstrating the aircraft's capabilities during takeoff, hover, and overhead flights. You can see for yourself what Joby's air taxi is all about in the videos down below.

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