NASA, Wisk, and Alaka’i Form UAM Partnership
As part of its Advanced Air Mobility (AAM) National Campaign (NC), NASA announced on November 16, 2020, that it had signed information exchange agreements with UAM vehicle developers, Mountain View, California-based Wisk and
Hopkinton, Massachusetts-based Alaka’i Technologies. The agreements will facilitate the integration of eVTOLs and hybrid VTOLs into the U.S. national airspace.
Working with the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration, the project is intended to demonstrate how the new aircraft might interact with conventional aircraft. With a target date of 2022, the agencies plan to determine various operational safety scenarios, focusing on each vehicle’s design and unique automation features.
“Our vehicle partnerships are critical to NASA and the industry success in AAM,” said Davis Hackenberg, AAM mission integration manager. “These partnerships are the cornerstone of our data collection that will support standardization, certification and eventually the operational approval for safe and scalable UAM operations.”
The first step will be the NC Integrated Dry Run Test in December 2020. It will use a helicopter as a surrogate UAM to establish a data baseline for future tests. Subsequently, Joby Aviation’s air taxi prototype will test flight scenarios, range deployment, and data collecting protocols for NC-1.
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