NASA has started flight tests on an electric eVTOL built by Aviation and intended for the rapid transport of people. The air taxi allows NASA to collect data on performance and acoustics to help the sector evolve, but not only: what has been learned will serve to fill any gaps in the regulations written by the FAA. by Manolo De Agostini published on 03 September 2021, at 15:01 in the Science and technology channel NASA NASA “studies” the so-called “flying cars”. The US Space Agency has started flight tests with Joby Aviation’s eVTOL (acronym Electric Vertical Takeoff and Landing), a flight powered entirely by electricity and capable of getting up and landing vertically. The initiative, part of the National Advanced Air Mobility (AAM) campaign, will run until Friday 10 September at the Joby Electric Flight Base located near Big Sur, California. It is the first time that NASA has tested an eVTOL, an aircraft that many could act as an air taxi for those in the cities and surrounding areas, adding another way of moving people and goods than traditional ones. NASA’s goal is to collect vehicle performance and acoustics data (via more than 50 microphones to monitor different flight phases) for use in modeling and simulating future concepts. The test will help identify gaps in FAA (Feal Aviation Administration) regulations and policies so that eVTOLs can become an integral part of future mobility. One of their strengths, in addition to reducing pollution, should in fact be the acoustic profile: being ideally less noisy than helicopters, they could be more suitable for flights in densely populated areas. NASA’s experiments will serve as a preamble to a test phase, known as NC-1, scheduled for 2022, with more complex flight scenarios and also carried out with other aircraft. In short, NASA’s job is to act as a consultant to the FAA to arrive at clear and safe regulations. According to some experts it will take five years or more to see an eVTOL fly in the American skies, while Joby is more optimistic and is aiming to launch an air taxi service in 2024. Joby Aviation went public a few weeks ago on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), after ten years of activity and a business that has yet to go live but which, as soon as it starts, could soon become a multi-billionaire again.