The skies of New York are accustomed to the noise of helicopters coming and going but in a recent test of two new types of flying machines, the sounds were noticeably muted.
Joby Aviation and Volocopter both showed off their all-electric air taxis in a demonstration sponsored by Mayor Eric Adams.
Joby Aviation recently announced a partnership with Delta Airlines and is hoping to begin air taxi service by 2025 from the downtown Manhattan Heliport.
The company’s eVTOL (electric vertical take-off and landing) helicopter will seat two passengers along with two pilots and is capable of flying up to 100 miles on a single electric charge.
This means that the company could fly from JFK Airport to downtown Manhattan in as little as seven minutes versus a drive that can take over an hour.
German-based Volocopter conducted a similar flight of its all-electric VTOL craft with two pilots from the same heliport and has now flown test flights in multiple cities including Singapore, Paris, and Tampa.
The company is testing a two-seat autonomous taxi near Paris that it hopes will receive approval prior to next year’s Olympics so that it will be able to offer service from the airports to the various Olympic venues.
Electric VTOL craft are zero-emission and much quieter than the roar of normal helicopters, which makes their use in urban areas much more appealing.
Joby conducted a test with NASA to monitor the noise created by its VTOL craft and found that it produced around 45 decibels when flying overhead which is equivalent to a normal inside conversation.
Mayor Adams is pushing hard for this technology and his administration worked to have the two public helipads electrified to pave the way for these companies to begin service as soon as possible.