Joby Aviation reported on Tuesday that its prototype electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) aircraft met the company’s noise profile goals during acoustic testing completed with NASA last fall. The tests, which took place at Joby’s facility near Big Sur, California, were conducted over two weeks in September 2021 as part of as part of NASA’s Advanced Air Mobility (AAM) National Campaign. Results showed that Joby’s aircraft registered the equivalent of 45.2 A-weighted decibels (dBA) from an altitude of 1,640 feet (500 meters) at 100 knots airspeed. In addition, the eVTOL’s acoustic profile during planned takeoff and landing profiles was measured to be below 65 dBA at a distance of 330 feet (100 meters) from the flight path.
“We will use this data to help us understand the vehicle’s performance characteristics, the acoustics profiles, as well as information that will help us develop modeling scenarios,” said Shivanjli Sharma, acting lead for the NASA AAM National Campaign. “Not just one or two flights per day, but at the scale that we predict these vehicles will begin flying when used by the public.”
Data was collected using NASA’s Mobile Acoustics Facility and an array of more than 50 pressure ground-plate microphones. NASA and Joby both plan to present technical papers on the testing procedures and measurements at industry conferences this summer. Designed as an air taxi, Joby’s five-seat, piloted eVTOL will reportedly travel at speeds of up to 200 MPH and have a maximum single-charge range of 150 miles. The company says it is targeting 2024 for the launch of its aerial ridesharing service, although it is not yet known how the FAA’s recent change in its approach to eVTOL certification and the crash of an uncrewed prototype during flight testing last February might affect that timeline.