January 12, 2022
Joby increases flight test capacity in support of certification goal
Joby’s second pre-production prototype at the company’s hangar in Marina, California. (Photo: Joby Aviation)
Joby Aviation Inc., a California-based company developing all-electric aircraft for commercial passenger service, confirmed it received FAA Special Airworthiness Certification and US Air Force Airworthiness Approval for a second pre-production prototype aircraft in December 2021, as expected.
The first pre-production prototype generated 65 terabytes of test data in 2021, flying more than 5,300 miles, including what is believed to be the longest flight of an eVTOL aircraft to date, at 154.6 miles on a single charge.
Joby states the second aircraft will significantly accelerate its capacity for flight testing in 2022, supporting the company’s ambition to certify its aircraft with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) in time to launch commercial operations in 2024. The aircraft is expected to begin flying later this month and will be put into service as part of Joby’s Agility Prime contract with the US Air Force.
“Our 2021 flight test program delivered a wealth of information and experience to support our program,” said JoeBen Bevirt, founder and CEO of Joby. “With two aircraft flying at the same time, we’ll be able to increase the speed of our learnings as planned, while continuing to fulfill the requirements of our Agility Prime contract.
US Air Force airworthiness was received just six days after the FAA special airworthiness certification was granted.
With a maximum range of 150 miles and a top speed of 200 mph, Joby’s all-electric aircraft is designed to carry four passengers and a pilot with zero operating emissions. The company began flying full-scale prototypes in 2017 and has completed more than 1,000 flight tests to date.
In 2020, Joby became the first and only eVTOL company to sign a G-1 (stage 4) certification basis with the FAA, having received an initial (stage 2) signed G-1 from the FAA in 2019.