The Next Aeronautics Revolution
Vanessa Aubuchon, NASA Langley Research Center
Imagine going home from work in a pilotless aircraft that takes off vertically from a building rooftop and transitions to forward flight to carry you out of the city to a landing pad in the suburbs. When you get home, you’re too tired to cook dinner, so you order your favorite Thai food from a restaurant three miles away and it lands in your driveway fresh and hot. Later that night, you get a stomachache and order some antacids from the pharmacy down the street, which is delivered via a drone to your home in a matter of minutes. Can you imagine a world of convenience and efficiency that is enabled by ubiquitous, autonomous air transportation? We are in the middle of an aeronautics revolution right now, where those scenarios are becoming a reality. This talk will discuss the “Third Wave of Aeronautics,” which is bringing aviation to people’s daily lives. NASA, alongside industry and the FAA, is developing the technologies and safety standards to enable faster local commutes, widespread package delivery, cost-effective cargo transportation to rural areas, and more routine connections between regional airports. Advanced Air Mobility targets safe, sustainable, affordable, and accessible aviation that will transform the world’s transportation systems. Current manufacturer progress, new enabling technologies, and challenges to realizing this new paradigm will be described landed.