Page 18 - ATC Special Bulletin Series - Future Skies 2024
P. 18

of other aircraft in the area. The simulation showed that the flight duration tends to be longer for journeys based on time-slot allocation than those using trajectories. Regardless of the method, there is a time saving of more than 30 percent on selected routes compared to ground-based traffic, although traffic jams, tunnel closures and other hindrances for road traffic were not even considered in the simulation.
After taking off vertically, the air taxi soon reaches its cruising altitude of 150 metres. It heads south, travelling over undeveloped land wherever possible, along the route of a railway line. Martina’s initial nervousness about this new experience quickly subsides.
At HorizonUAM, 30 people experienced a short trip by air taxi in a cabin simulator. Virtual reality headsets showed the ‘passengers’ realistic animations of arrival and departure manoeuvres as well as inner-city routes. The focus was on their well-being. The evaluation showed that under nominal flight conditions, the presence of a crew member on board did not significantly increase perceived safety. However, in scenarios that included an unexpected rescheduling of the flight, the participants tended to feel more comfortable when a crew member was present.
Acceptance of this new type of mobility is also very important for the population as a whole. The noise generated by air taxis can have a negative impact on quality of life. The researchers have developed and tested a smartphone app to record the noise of unmanned aerial vehicles. The app measures the level of noise generated by flying objects in decibels and can also register assessments such as the subjective level of noise pollution. The scientists also conducted a representative telephone survey on acceptance among the German population. The attitude of the respondents depended on the intended use. Civilian drones used for civil protection or in agriculture, for example, currently tend to be more widely accepted than air taxis. Those surveyed found it easiest to imagine using an air taxi to reach rural regions with poor public transport connections.
The television tower is already in sight. Almost there. Meanwhile, down on federal highway 433, there has been an accident. Traffic is mounting up, apart from an emergency corridor for the rescue services. A short time later, the six spinning rotors of the air taxi switch to landing mode and the vertical descent over the Inner Alster is initiated autonomously.
In future, flights by drones and air taxis outside the control zones of airports will be coordinated via the U-space system without involvement from controllers. To ensure safe operations over densely populated areas and avoid collisions, air taxis must communicate with each other reliably and in real time. The DLR

   16   17   18   19   20