The first official tests of Joby Aviation's all-electric Vertical Take-off and Landing (eVTOL) aircraft have begun.
What is being tested and why?
This is the first inclusion of the eVTOL in NASA's national airspace mobility campaign. By participating in a commercial aircraft flight test, NASA hopes to "enhance airspace mobility" in the United States and "help integrate air taxis, drones and other inventive new vehicles into the national airspace."
Joby Aviation's eVTOL test will take place Aug. 30 to Sept. 10 at Electric Flight Base near Big Sur, Calif.
Joby Aviation, a California-based aerospace company, plans to launch its air taxi service in 2024, but to do so it must meet requirements set by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). These tests, facilitated by NASA , are an important step in that direction.
Was the machine called in?
Six electric motors provide smooth vertical takeoff and landing with zero emissions. The eVTOL aircraft can reach speeds of up to 200 miles per hour and travel more than 150 miles. The aircraft can carry one pilot and up to four passengers. The company wants its customers to book flights using the app and pay fees comparable to ground transportation.
During the first flight test NASA will monitor the aircraft, collect acoustic data and see how it responds to the pilot. For acoustic testing, "the team will deploy a mobile acoustic rig and build an array of more than 50 microphones to measure the acoustic profile of the Joby aircraft during different phases of flight."