If the novelty of passengers boarding flying taxis at their neighborhood vertiports in just a few years sounds like the latest permutation of the Jetsons-style hype rife in the transportation technology industry, well, many experts share or have shared some skepticism.
“I met Jon at a mobility conference in Montreal,” says Anita Sengupta, a former NASA aerospace engineer responsible for the design of the supersonic parachute system that landed the Curiosity Rover on Mars. “He’s going on about making electric aviation cheap, and I’m like, ‘This is bullshit. I’m from aerospace and this is impossible.’ ”
She’s been converted into a believer. After the conference, the two became friends, and Sengupta eventually became an adviser to ASX. Now she is the company’s chief product officer.
Others also have warmed to air mobility. A June report from consulting firm Deloitte noted that, after “decades of false starts,” new classes of aircraft are emerging that could make urban air mobility a…