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NASA Uses Pilatus PC-12 for eVTOL Tests

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NASA Uses Pilatus PC-12 for eVTOL Tests

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) will use a Pilatus PC-12 aircraft to test the communications technology that eVTOLs will utilize upon entering into service. 

The PC-12 has been equipped with monitors to determine the signal strength of cell towers at different altitudes and various environments, including urban, suburban, and rural areas. To accurately assess the signal strength, the aircraft will fly at a minimum of about 300 meters (1,000 feet) in central locations and 150 meters (500 feet) when out in the countryside. 

The test flights began on May 18 and will continue until June 25, 2023. NASA’s pilots will fly the PC-12 over roadways in the U.S. state of Ohio, which will see it pass through Cleveland, Lodi, Mansfield, and Medina. 

The tests are part of the U.S. government’s strategy to introduce new forms of air travel. In 2022, NASA commissioned a study that predicted 750 million urban air mobility (UAM) passenger trips annually by 2030. 


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