NASA has started testing a future air taxi designed to fly cargo and passengers in busy cities. The project is part of the space agency’s Advanced Air Mobility (AAM) National Campaign, NASA, and Joby Aviation.
Designed by the Californian startup, the air taxi is an all-electric helicopter powered by six rotors and it’s supposed to be as quiet as possible.
During the test phase, NASA engineers are aiming to focus on regulating the noise produced by the air taxi and collect information that would help establish a future regulatory structure on the use of such carriers in cities.
On that note, NASA engineers will use the Mobile Acoustics Facility, with more than 50 pressure ground-plate microphones to measure sound emissions of the helicopter while flying.
“From day one, we prioritized building an aircraft that not only has an extremely low noise profile but blends seamlessly into the natural environment,” Bevirt stated. “We have always believed that a minimal acoustic footprint is a key to making aviation a convenient part of the everyday movement without compromising the quality of life, and we’re excited to fly with NASA, our longtime partners in electric flight, to demonstrate the acoustic profile of our aircraft.”
The aircraft is the first helicopter to be examined as part of NASA’s campaign, in hopes that this kind of transportation will be fully integrated into the public airspace.