Categories: News

NASA performs a ‘crash test’ on flying cars!

The North American space agency tests the safety of flying cars within its facilities in Virginia

Build a flying car is one of the biggest challenges for the automotive industry in the coming years. In view of the growing number of vehicles on the roads, being able to take off in one’s vehicle would be one of the solutions to many traffic problems, especially in large cities. The first prototype akin to flying cars was designed by British engineers William Samuel Henson and John Stringfellow in the 19th century and since none has really seen the light of day.

Are flying cars coming soon?

If we are to believe the technological progress around flying cars, it is not insane to think that they will be part of our daily lives in the coming years. This is particularly the case of theAirCar, a car developed by the Slovak company Klein Vision. This one obtained the legal certificate to be able to take off from the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA).

Other flying car models have been experimented with and they use the vertical take-off and landing (e-VTOL) system. They don’t need a lot of space to take off and land, like the XPeng X3 for example. Manufactured by the Chinese manufacturer XPeng AeroHT, it has already carried out several test flights.

Despite these tests, flying cars will only become a reality when they are considered completely safe.

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NASA enters the scene

In this sense, at NASA added itself to these projects in order to develop a vehicle within its facilities in Virginia (United States). In particular, she made a crash test in order to assess the consequences of a fall from a flying car in mid-flight.

At the Langley Investigation Center in Hampton, she built a metal structure with the same characteristics as a flying car.

Obviously, the experiment was carried out on a prototype not having all the expensive parts but the general configuration of the structure was similar to that of an eVTOL. Six mannequins were introduced into the vehicle in order to simulate the position of the bodies.

The crash test consisted of getting the vehicle off the ground and dropping it against the ground: “The test was a great success for Langley’s impact resistance team. We obtained more than 200 data parameters and 20 videos from the cameras installed in the car and outside,” enthused Justin Littell, structural dynamics researcher at Langley.

Although the shock caused more damage than expected, according to experts, the eVTOL reacted well. The base of the device and the seats limited the impact on the dummies. Previously, NASA researchers had studied the impact of the shock on the upper part of the flying car on a computer. But in reality, the damage caused to the dummies is higher than expected.

In 2023, new tests will be carried out in order to progress in this area and make flying cars safer.

Here is the video of the crash test carried out by NASA to give you an idea of ​​the impact in the event of a fall from a flying car :

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