Joby progresses to testing with production prototypes of its eVTOL

May 16, 2024
The second production prototype recently rolled off the line at their facility in Marina, California.

SANTA CRUZ, Calif. - Joby Aviation, Inc., a Santa Cruz, Calif.-based developer of electric vertical takeoff and landing commercial passenger aircraft, announced it has completed its pre-production prototype flight test program. The company is now moving to the next phase of flight testing with its production prototype aircraft to prepare for upcoming for-credit flight testing.

Joby began flying full-scale pre-production prototype aircraft over four years ago. The two pre-production aircraft completed more than 1,500 flights, covering a total distance of over 33,000 miles, including over 100 flights with a pilot onboard. In November 2023, the second pre-production aircraft conducted the first electric air taxi exhibition flights in New York City, flying from the Manhattan Downtown Heliport over the Hudson River.

Completion of the test program has allowed Joby to move forward with production. The second production prototype recently rolled off the line at their facility in Marina, California. Insights from the flight test program have been critical to Joby’s certification efforts and to developing regulatory frameworks for electric VTOL aircraft.

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In 2021, Joby demonstrated a 154.6-mile flight on a single charge, including vertical take-off and landing. In 2022, Joby partnered with NASA to measure the aircraft’s acoustic footprint, which is nearly inaudible in cruise flight against city ambient noise. The company also demonstrated speeds exceeding 200 miles per hour and altitudes over 10,000 feet above mean sea level.

In 2023, Joby expanded its flight test program to include piloted flights and completed the first exhibition flight of an electric air taxi in New York City. Joby also trained four U.S. Air Force pilots to fly an eVTOL aircraft through a full flight profile, including transitioning from vertical to wingborne flight as sole pilot-in-command.

In 2024, in partnership with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Joby completed 31 piloted flights in two days, showcasing the aircraft’s operational characteristics and precision landing capabilities.

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Joby’s second pre-production prototype aircraft will be used for research and development on future aviation technologies.

The electric air taxi is designed to carry a pilot and four passengers at speeds of up to 200 mph, providing high-speed mobility with significantly less noise than helicopters and zero operating emissions.

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