Will we fly like the Jetsons? Journalism can tell us

We pride ourselves on giving you a uniquely technical look at such topics as climate change, the quest for alternative fuels, planetary protection and other issues of life and death importance. As weighty as these issues are, they are not the only ones that matter on our beat. We also cover technology that could someday become part of the amazing story of human progress, a history that’s just beginning if one considers that for our first 299,900 years as a species, we could not turn on a light bulb, fly an aircraft, navigate the world with our phones or ride a rocket into space.

Could we soon be adding, “summon an electric aircraft” to that list?

Numerous companies are now testing competing designs for these small aircraft, and deliberations are underway about how to integrate them into our already crowded skies and our urban and suburban settings. The predicted dollar values are staggering for this emerging advanced air mobility market, a category that I should say also includes cargo aircraft and precursor drone designs. Will the AAM market really have an annual economic value of $115 billion someday? That answer will unfold in a multiyear drama of technical progress but also setbacks, demands for passenger safety and calls for regulatory streamlining, praise for free market enterprise amid questions about the equity of some of us bopping around like the Jetsons. 

The drama is so intriguing and the outcome so potentially transformative for society that we have created a special online news focus devoted to the topic. We invite you to sign up to receive our True Mobility newsletter in your inbox so you can ride along with us as we chronicle this potential revolution. 

Related Topics

Advanced air mobility

About Ben Iannotta

Ben keeps the magazine and its news coverage on the cutting edge of journalism. He began working for the magazine in the 1990s as a freelance contributor and became editor-in-chief in 2013. He was editor of C4ISR Journal and has written for Air & Space Smithsonian, New Scientist, Popular Mechanics, Reuters and Space News.

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Will we fly like the Jetsons? Journalism can tell us