USAF To Accept First Air Taxis

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1st Lieutenant
May 30, 2011
Cape Canaveral
To me, this is more evidence that future SAR missions will be partially accomplished by unmanned aircraft. Note that these aircraft will have no pilots on board, although they seem to be RPV rather than autonomous at this point.

From Air and Space Forces Magazine:

"Electric air taxis" are coming to Edwards Air Force Base, Calif., early next year. The Air Force and Joby Aviation announced a deal April 25 through USAF's Agility Prime program for rapid acquisition.

Air Force pilots took command of a Joby electric vertical takeoff and landing aircraft for the first time earlier this week, remotely piloting the five-seat airframe through its full flight envelope at the company's Marina, Calif., facility.

The experience was the first step in USAF's commitment to receive by March 2024 two aircraft and to begin testing them at Edwards, the first time Agility Prime has been used to acquire an aircraft.

Releases from both the Air Force Research Laboratory and Joby Aviation noted the contract extension—now valued at up to $131 million—includes options for up to nine aircraft. An AFRL spokesman told Air & Space Forces Magazine those aircraft could be delivered to other government agencies and no locations besides Edwards for the first two have been decided on.

Joby's aircraft has five seats, but none of the testing so far, including the Air Force-controlled flights, included passengers. An AFRL spokesman said there are future plans to have pilots and passengers on board the aircraft at Edwards.

At Edwards, the Air Force will work with both Joby and NASA as part of a larger effort to develop Advanced Air Mobility. The AFRL spokesman said the organizations will work on the infrastructure necessary to maintain and operate electric aircraft. The Air Force in particular will study the aircraft's potential use for "short-to-mid range cargo operations at low operating costs and just-in-time delivery constructs," the spokesman said.

Additionally, the aircraft could support operations at Edwards' test ranges, transporting personnel around the 470-square mile base, the spokesman said.

Screenshot 2023-04-27 at 14-52-32 ‘Electric Air Taxis’ To Begin Testing at Edwards AFB By Marc...png
Wait a minute!!! Does it mean that the personnel should wait in Taxi Line? Just like in Iran!

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