June 24, 2024


Unlimited Technology

Nasa testing ‘AIR taxi’ that shuttles you across cities in minutes

NASA is trying to make futuristic flying TAXIS a reality.

The space agency recently announced that it has started flight testing a battery-powered air vehicle built by California start-up Joby Aviation.

Nasa is carrying out flight tests with an all-electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) aircraft built by Joby Aviation


Nasa is carrying out flight tests with an all-electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) aircraft built by Joby AviationCredit: Nasa

Joby’s all-electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) aircraft can seat two people and has a flight range of up to 150 miles, according to the company.

It’s powered by six giant propellers and is designed to one day ferry passengers across cities in a fraction of the time taken by traditional taxis.

It was designed to be as quiet as possible in order to fit into busy city life without disturbing residents.

Nasa revealed it was working with Joby in a blog post on September 1.

Researchers began flight testing late last month at the company’s Electric Flight Base located near Big Sur, California.

The project is being carried out as part of Nasa’s Advanced Air Mobility (AAM) National Campaign, which aims to help emerging aviation markets.

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The flights run through September 10 and is the first time Nasa has tested an eVTOL aircraft as part of the campaign.

“In the future, eVTOL aircraft could serve as air taxis for those in cities and surrounding areas around the country, adding another mode of transportation for moving people and goods,” Nasa said.

The tests will involve the collection of data from flights carried out by a prototype Joby eVTOL.

As the aircraft flies planned test scenarios, the Nasa team will collect information about how the vehicle moves, how the vehicle sounds, and how the vehicle communicates with controllers.

On its website, Nasa says its AAM campaign is aimed at aiding emerging aviation markets – such as the fledgling air taxi industry.

The campaign to advance airspace mobility in the US will take place at multiple locations over several years.

A number of companies are vying to build the world’s first flying cab, including taxi hailing behemoth Uber and aviation firm Volocopter.

In 2017, an autonomous flying taxi drone built by Volocopter took to the skies above Dubai as part of early tests for a commercial service.

The company has said it wants to launch what it’s calling the world’s first air taxi service in 2022.

While there’s plenty of hype surrounding the emerging technology, experts have cast doubts over the feasibility of such a service.

Critics have highlighted that, in order for a fully fledged service to operate, regulations surrounding flying over cities would need to be eased significantly.

Concerns have also been raised over the cost of any such service to passengers and whether the infrastructure can be put in place to charge a fleet of massive air vehicles.

Joby's aircraft is powered by six enormous propellers


Joby’s aircraft is powered by six enormous propellersCredit: Joby
Air taxi company Joby is based in California


Air taxi company Joby is based in CaliforniaCredit: Reuters
Nasa's Advanced Air Mobility National Campaign will help usher in the era of city air travel


Nasa’s Advanced Air Mobility National Campaign will help usher in the era of city air travelCredit: NASA

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Nasa timelapse shows construction of 925mph ‘Son of Concorde’ jet

In other news, Nasa’s Perseverance rover has created breathable oxygen.

Nasa recently completed the first controlled flight on another planet following the lift-off of its Mars helicopter-drone, Ingenuity.

Nasa has baffled space fans by releasing an image of what appears to be a rainbow on Mars.

And, the mystery surrounding what looks like giant spiders on the surface of Mars may finally have been solved.

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