NASA initiates air taxi flight testing with Joby Aviation

Joby Aviation’s all-electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) aircraft began flight testing Monday as part of NASA’s Advanced Air Mobility (AAM) National Campaign. This testing will take place at Joby’s Electric Flight Base near Big Sur, California, until Friday, September 10. As part of the campaign, NASA will be testing an eVTOL aircraft for the first time. In the future, eVTOL aircraft could operate as air taxis for people and products in cities and surrounding areas around the country, providing another means of transportation for people and things.

NASA’s purpose is to collect vehicle performance and acoustic data for future airspace modeling and simulation. This test will aid in the identification of holes in present Federal Aviation Administration laws and procedures that will aid in the integration of AAM aircraft into the National Airspace System. This multi-event effort to improve airborne mobility in the United States will take place in a variety of locales over the course of several years.

Throughout each round of testing, NASA will gather data from Joby’s eVTOL aircraft, which is designed to function as a commercial aircraft service in the future. Analyzing such data prepares the AAM National Campaign to launch the first set of campaign testing, known as NC-1, in 2022, with more complicated flying scenarios and additional industrial vehicles.

The NASA crew will collect data on how the Joby aircraft moves, sounds, and communicates with controllers as it flies specified test scenarios. Future partners will fly similar situations to assess their vehicle readiness.

The team will establish the mobile acoustics facility and build an arrangement of more than 50 microphones to assess the acoustic profile of Joby’s aircraft during various stages of flight.

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