NASA’s ‘air taxi’ looks absolutely intimidating in recent tests


Taxis and Ubers are great for getting around. But what if you could take an electric air taxi instead? This is the future that NASA is trying to create.

Nasa just posted a new photo of his ‘air taxi’, offering an exciting glimpse into his vision for air travel. While NASA is often associated exclusively with space-related projects, the organization also spends a lot of time conducting experiments here on Earth. Whether it’s trying to find out more about our atmosphere or pushing the boundaries of air travel, NASA always has something to do with it.

Consumer travel is something that many companies have tried to modernize. Uber and Lyft have both experimented with autonomous taxi services, The Boring Company is digging underground tunnels to improve transportation in densely populated areas, and the rise of self-driving car technology from Tesla, Ford and others. improving at a rapid rate.

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Another brand that is dipping its toes into this space is none other than NASA. On September 16, 2021, the organization shared its latest photo of its experimental air taxi. The drone-like vehicle is currently parked at a facility near Big Sur, Calif., After flight tests between August 30 and September 10. During these dates, NASA flew its air taxi to collect data on “how the vehicle moved, how the vehicle rang and how the vehicle communicated with the controllers.” As this photo reveals, the vehicle returned unscathed from these tests and appears ready to take off.

What is the air taxi and why NASA created it

Photo of NASA air taxi vehicle

Photo credit: Joby Aviation

Created in partnership with California-based Joby Aviation, NASA’s air taxi is technically called the eVTOL plane – or “all-electric vertical take-off and landing” plane. Compared to a helicopter, which is traditionally quite large and noisy, the NASA air taxi is designed to be as compact and quiet as possible. It is powered by six rotors, runs entirely on electricity, and aims to be able to transport people to their destinations with virtually no noise (allowing it to act as a taxi service without disturbing everyone in the process. below).

This particular air taxi is part of NASA’s larger “National Advanced Air Mobility Campaign” (also known as AAM). With the AAM, NASA hopes “To promote public confidence and accelerate the realization of emerging aviation markets for the transport of passengers and goods in urban, suburban, rural and regional environments”. In addition to creating modern airplanes for taxi / transportation services, NASA also wants to make people comfortable with the idea of ​​hopping in an air taxi instead of a cab or Uber.

While it will likely still be some time before air taxis are as common as ground taxis, NASA is determined to get to that point as quickly as possible. From 2022, it will begin to host various activities for “Help make MAA a reality for the United States”. Whether it’s with this particular air taxi or another model NASA is working on, keep an eye on the organization’s progress over the next two years.

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Source: NASA (1), (2)

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