NEC Flies Testbed
NEC Corporation has developed an eVTOL testbed to help development autonomous management systems for UAM aircraft. NEC stated that the much larger eVTOL aircraft fly differently than small drones and they need a full-size eVTOL aircraft to obtain the data needed to allow them to make and validate working aircraft management systems.
NEC reported that they’ve been flying their eVTOL testbed behind closed doors for several months in Abiko, near Tokyo, but it was first revealed to the public on Aug. 5. The public tethered test flight lasted about a minute with an altitude of about 10 ft (3 m), was flown inside a giant cage to protect everyone viewing the flight. The aircraft has four propellers protected by enclosed ducts for lift; they do not appear to tilt on any axis for flight control. Therefore, flight control is most likely achieved by each individual propeller adjusting its speed independently to tilt in the intended direction. (Image from YouTube video by Yuri Kageyama.)