NASA On The Future of Aviation: Electric Flying Car

Electric airplanes–or flying cars rather, are being built by NASA’s researchers in Kern County, California. The first phase was tested on a mobile ground rig this past week. Joeben Bevirt of Joby Aviation, based in Santa Cruz, predicts electric airplanes will most certainly replace ground transportation.

The first wings of this kind, little propellers align them especially on its front edges. Bevirt explains, “By distributing these propellers across the leading edge of the wing, we are able to increase the dynamic pressure over the wing and build an aircraft with a smaller more efficient wing.” Joby Aviation’s vision really is to create an electric airplane for your daily life–yes, an electric flying car.

Airports would probably be welcome of these electric airplanes who will have no problem landing quietly land at airports close to home and work. They are able to be quieter because of their electric motors allow for variations in speed changes. Of course, as new technology ought to be, this flying car will be energy efficient. Its smaller wings allow for this, probably reducing operational costs by up to 30%. It will use five times less energy than a gasoline motor. The aviation and aircraft-loving communities will be thrilled.

The Future of Electric Car Testing With Joby Aviation

In the next couple of years, Joby Aviation would like to test their LEAPTech in the air. This is a piloted X-plane with just its engines and wings substituted with the new electric propulsion technology. Initially using an already established aircraft (with successful a flight history) instead of using a new aircraft made entirely from scratch will help stably measure data on electric propulsion technology airframes themselves.

NASA’s partnership with Joby Aviation and Empirical Systems Aerospace (ESAero) are very excited about low-carbon aviation and what Joby Aviation’s electric propulsion technology can mean for the future of all aviation in, general. While those involved want to continue to learn about and improve technology, when environmental initiatives emerge there is even more meaning in their work with the potential to be revolutionary.

There is both monetary and humanitarian incentive in this mission, and the overarching desire to pursue tech and science for the future of aviation. That this week’s testing of phase proves NASA’s technology is working is just more good news. Updates await as they move onto future phases. The flying car could be up for grabs within the next 10 years!